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New program lets kids race to fight drugs

September 27, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - This weekend, kids will be racing against the clock and against drug and alcohol abuse in an event co-sponsored by Kmart and the Franklin County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Kids Race Against Drugs, or KRAD, will be held Saturday and Sunday on a specially-constructed track in the parking lot of the Big K store at 1005 Wayne Ave., according to Beverly Sanders, president of the county MADD chapter.

Accompanied by a parent or guardian, children can register for free to drive a miniature race car around the course. Although the top end on these racers is only about 5 mph, Sanders said an adult will ride with each child.

There's no cost for kids to race, but for everyone who does, Kmart will donate $5 to benefit MADD chapter anti-drug and alcohol programs, Sanders said.

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"The strategy for the kids is who can come in with the best time against the course" rather than head-to-head racing, Sanders said. She said the course will have twists, turns, bridges, tunnels and other features to challege the young drivers' skills.

The race is organized by age group. Winners of the 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 brackets have a chance to advance to a national championship later in Orlando, Fla. Sanders said the names of the winners this weekend will be placed in a drawing for that competition, in which the top prize is a $10,000 college scholarship.

The races run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. All participants will get a T-shirt and baseball cap.

"The monies we receive from Kmart are going to be earmarked for the education of children," said Sanders, who helped found the chapter 12 years ago and was its first president. She was named president again in July.

MADD sponsors an annual red ribbon campaign from October through New Year's Eve to raise awareness against drunken driving, but Sanders said plans next year include a program to reduce drinking and driving during the high school prom season, a support group, educational videos and other activities.

Clopper's Custom Cycles of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania State Police, the Franklin County Probation Department and the District Attorney's Office, Mercersburg (Pa.) Police Department and Students Against Drunk Driving are providing volunteers along with MADD and Kmart, Sanders said.

For more information about the event or MADD programs, call the chapter office at 717-261-9406.

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