Started as a way for Muldowney to show appreciation for the less fortunate among her legion of drag racing fans, Shirley’s Kids easily lived up to its goal of helping children in need at traditional stops along the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Even with Muldowney sidelined for a few months due to her own health concerns, lives were definitely changed and the organization already is making big plans for 2017 and beyond.
“This has exceeded all my expectations,” Muldowney said, “and yet there is so much more we’d like to do. I’ll tell you, Stan and Sheila Holt, Nicci Gustavus, Frank Bellini and my wonderful agent Rob Geiger, they all put in a lot of work, countless hours of work, to make this happen. My job was easy, and a lot of fun, because there is nothing I cherish more than helping little children that need a lift in life.
Next was the instantly-lovable Kevin Bean, a 6-year-old from Charlotte, who had just completed a round of chemotherapy to help fight brain cancer. He also received $5,000, this time with the help of IDG.
Along with hometown giant Pennzoil, and the Deacons of Deadwood Motorcycle Club, a 200-member strong charitable riding group in Houston, Muldowney was able to give 16-year-old Tacey Raulerson and her family a whopping $10,000 to help them retrofit their home. Tacey lost her sight due to a tumor so the Raulerson residence needed some structural adjustments, which they were able to do after Shirley’s Kids funded the project.
In Indianapolis, 9-year-old Dakota Bierman-Ulm, who had just been released from Riley’s Childrens Hospital, where he had been recovering from injuries suffered when his family’s house burned down, joined Muldowney for a fun-filled day at the track. The family also received $5,000 to help replace many of the items Dakota lost to the fire.
The season of giving concluded in Dallas with the help of Buddy Woods’ Sunset Performance Racing Engines and Danny Nelson’s Racecraft Chassis. Local hero Trenton Tyer, who suffers from Perthes Disease, a rare childhood condition that affects blood flow to the hipbones, was a crowd favorite as he and Muldowney took the stage during driver intros. The Tyer family was then surprised to receive a check for $5,000 to help them with medical expenses.
On the media side of things, Dave Bowen of Let’s Race Magazine has pledged his publication’s support in 2017, which will include stories on each future “Shirley’s Kid” along with advertising to help raise awareness for the charity.