The Benner Holstein car driven by Terry Hiebert from Steinbach resembled a smart car after taking a few hits during the first annual Teen Challenge demo derby.
By Marianne Curtis
Twenty-one drivers including several from southern Manitoba tore up the track and each other during a special fundraising demo derby.
On September 19, Teen Challenge hosted the Impact for the Kingdom Demolition Derby at the Red River Speedway in St. Adolphe. The afternoon event attracted almost two dozen cars and several hundred spectators and over $20,000 was raised for the facility which helps men overcome additions and return to their community as successful law abiding citizens. .
Teen Challenge has been operating for more than a decade in Winnipeg with a 40-bed men’s centre in the heart of downtown, a graduate house and a vehicle donation shop. Jane Hiebert with Teen Challenge says that this was the first time that the organization has hosted a demo derby as a fundraiser for the facility.
“This is our first demolition derby,” stated Hiebert. “We thought of the idea as a spin off from our car donation program. We had the cars and since we run a vehicle shop we had the space and the man-power to make the cars and since demolition derbies are the big boy’s bumper cars and we run a “guys only” program it just seemed like a great fit.”
Aletta Holsteins, owned by the Alvin Plett family from Landmark had two cars in the event.
“This is a very important cause for us to support,” stated Darnell Plett. “We have a couple of our employees driving here today – it has become a friendly challenge.”
The organization is looking at turning the derby into an annual fundraising for the facility.
“A lot more people are interested in participating as drivers for next year, the track was very accommodating,” added Hiebert. “With one year under our belts, it will be easier to organize and improve on a few areas so we are definitely doing it again and making it an annual thing. We’ve already booked the track for next year in late May maybe the weather will be better.”
Teen Challenge encourages donations of cars that are picked up and then accessed in the shop by those in the program. The vehicles are then repaired, auctioned off, recycled or used by Teen Challenge if they can be pass a safety inspection.
This program benefits the Teen Challenge charity in two ways. It provides valuable vocational experience and the students gain at the shop with 100% of the proceeds raised by the disposed vehicles going back into our drug treatment and awareness programs.