Kyle Petty’s charity ride stops in town
Neither autograph hounds nor the media bother former NASCAR driver and current NASCAR TV analyst, Kyle Petty.
He’s glad to make time for them, especially when it comes to helping children in Victory Junction Camp in Randleman, N.C. The camp is free for children with more than 20 chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
Petty’s annual Charity Ride Across America stopped in Grand Junction late Tuesday afternoon. The 2,500-plus mile ride started Saturday in Napa, Calif., and will finish Friday in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’ve seen 16,000 different kids and families,” Petty told The Daily Sentinel “It puts life in perspective. You think you had a bad day. You’ve never had a bad day. We see kids 6 to 16 years old that have never ridden a horse, never been fishing or in a swimming pool. You complain about sitting in traffic. These are special kids with incredible attitudes.”
Victory Junction is a year-round camp founded by the Petty family to enrich the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating experiences that are memorable, empowering and physically safe and medically sound, according to a release. The camp was founded by the Pettys to honor their late son, Adam. Since the camp opened in 2004, Petty’s Charity Ride has been the primary beneficiary.
Petty’s Charity Ride has donated more than $14.5 million to Victory Junction.
Petty started the charity ride 18 years ago with roughly 35 riders, raising $35,000. It raises close to one million dollars each year, he said.
“People know who we are now,” Petty said. “It used to be know one knew and no one cared.”
The Charity Ride is made possible by several sponsors, but Petty said they welcome donations from the public. All the riders make a donation to participate in the ride. There are more than 200 riders this year, Petty said.
Petty received a donation from a group of veterans when the arrived in Grand Junction on Tuesday.
For more information visit http://www.kylepettycharityride.com.
The charity ride is going to Albuquerque, N.M., today via Red Mountain Pass on the way to Durango.
“It’s been a great ride,” Petty said. “It never gets old. We’d do six or seven of these a year if we could.”