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Local racing community comes together for Christmas wish

Jacob Smith • Dec 15, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Sometimes, a great act of kindness can come from something as simple as a post to a community Facebook page.

When Cherie Ayers posted to The Main Hip: Lebanon page, she was just trying to find a cheap go-kart for her disabled son for Christmas.

“He is 17 and suffered a brain injury at 9,” read Ayers’ post. “I unfortunately do not have hundreds and hundreds to spend on one. I do have a few hundred. I could work to pay off any more than that – run errands, housecleaning, sitting, etc. or even make small monthly payments. This has been his wish for years but I simply couldn’t afford it.”

According to Ayers, her son suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was 9, and because of that he still has the mentality of a 9 year-old. 

When Kelli Cunningham from Highland Rim Speedway heard about the Facebook post, something incredible happened.

“I just reached out to some of my friends in the racing community,” said Cunningham. “People started getting back to me donating money and parts and time.”

Andie Rochester, from Lebanon, commented on the post and donated her family’s old go-kart frame to the project and Stacey Hankins, also of Lebanon, volunteered to go pick it up.

Hunter Wright, a 16 year-old junior at Wilson Central High School and a driver at Highland Rims Speedway, volunteered to work on the car to get it up and running.

“Hunter was just really interested in the project and he went to his mom and said, ‘please can we make this happen,’” Cunningham said. “He has the frame and he’s been working on it everyday. It’s going to basically be a brand new go-kart when he’s finished with it.”

“We’re just a community that’s trying to help somebody that needs a little bit of help,” said Wright. “I’m going to keep working on it when the parts come in along with some others in the racing community. There’s no way I’d be able to work on it without all of the donations that have come in.”

All of the parts bought for the go-kart were funded by donations made by members of the racing community and members of the Main Hip: Lebanon Facebook community. When all of the money was raised, even more users were volunteering to donate money to be used for gas and future repairs.

Wright says that the go-kart repairs will likely be finished by the end of next week as long as all of the parts come on time; just in time to be delivered to the Ayers’ house for Christmas.

“You all have brought me to tears,” said Ayers. “I am honestly blown away by so much love and all of the responses. I honestly can not wait for him to wake up Christmas morning to see he finally got a go-kart.” 

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