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Lunenburg County Off-Road Racing Club committed to giving back to community

The Lunenburg County Off Road Racing Club donated $4,500 to Jumpstart, a program that ensures kids in need have equal access to sports and physical activities. Shown at the cheque presentation are, left to right, Kenny Mansfield, racing club vice-president, Jennifer Milbury, SportChek Bridgewater general manager and Jumpstart representative, Michelle Mansfield, club treasurer, and John Milbury, club president.
The Lunenburg County Off Road Racing Club donated $4,500 to Jumpstart, a program that ensures kids in need have equal access to sports and physical activities. Shown at the cheque presentation are, left to right, Kenny Mansfield, racing club vice-president, Jennifer Milbury, SportChek Bridgewater general manager and Jumpstart representative, Michelle Mansfield, club treasurer, and John Milbury, club president. - Contributed

Apart from their families and trucks, one of the main loves of the members of the Lunenburg County Off-Road Racing Club is supporting community initiatives, including a recent sizable donation to Jumpstart, a program that ensures kids in need have equal access to sports and physical activity.

Racing club president John Milbury said when the club was formed nine years ago, the members decided their mission outside racing was going to be about giving back to their community.

“We have local businesses supporting what we do, so we wanted to help kids achieve their goals, and Jumpstart was a good fit for us. We reached out to the program three years ago. Jumpstart sent volunteers to help at our events, taking money at the gate and selling 50-50 tickets,” said Milbury.

“We had a good year with lots of sponsors, so we decided to donate $4,500 to Jumpstart,” he added.

Earlier this fall the 18-member club held an off-road event at a gravel pit in Pine Grove as part of an 11-race series. Events included a race on a 250-ft. drag strip, and a slalom course.

Racers compete in classes, from six- and eight-cylinder street-legal trucks to modified vehicles.

Before every race, all vehicles are checked for safety compliance, and officials ensure all drivers have their fire suits, neck braces, and five-point harnesses in place, and that roll cages are secure.

A Newburne resident, Milbury said he enjoys taking part in off-road racing with his son, Brandon.

“I love seeing the joy on his face participating in something he has fun doing, and our club members are pleased to be able to help other kids participate in sports and other physical activities,” he said.

John Milbury’s sister-in-law, Jennifer Milbury, is the Jumpstart representative and general manager of the Bridgewater SportChek store at the South Shore Centre.

“For the Lunenburg County Off-Road Racing Club to be so generous speaks volumes about its members. I can’t thank them enough. Over the past three years the club has donated more than $6,500 to Jumpstart, including this most recent contribution,” said Jennifer Milbury.

Jumpstart provides financial assistance to families to help get their kids into more than 70 sports and physical activities – from team sports (hockey, basketball and curling), to individual sports (golf, tennis and bowling). Other activities include yoga, fishing, cheerleading, equestrian and dancing.

Since Jumpstart was launched nationally in 2005, assistance has been provided to 1.9 million boys and girls aged four to 18, and $174.6 million has been dispersed to help families with registration, transportation and equipment required for participation in sports and other physical activities.

In Nova Scotia last year, assistance was provided to 3,888 children, and $730,000 was dispersed.

No administration fees are deducted from donations, so every nickel goes directly to the kids.

Jennifer Milbury said Jumpstart, whose corporate partners are Canadian Tire, Mark’s, SportChek and the government of Canada, recognized the Bridgewater SportChek store for raising the most Jumpstart funds of any similar-sized store in the country.

“We are not nearly as large as some of our stores across Canada, but we raised more than $15,000 last year, which helped about 375 South Shore children participate in sports,” said Milbury.

Jumpstart officials believe giving boys and girls the opportunity to access sport and play is essential for their growth and development, and can help boost self-esteem, social skills and academics.

A Lower Branch resident with a life-long passion for individual and team sports, Jennifer Milbury studied kinesiology at Acadia, referees hockey and soccer, and coaches soccer and slo-pitch softball.

“Sport has allowed me to travel and make some wonderful friends. Working at the store I see the benefits of sports. I like seeing little kids get excited about their new sneakers, and then as a referee or coach I get to see them on the ice or sports field, and watch them develop in the sport,” she said.

To find out more about Jumpstart or to apply for funds, visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca or call toll-free 1-844-937-7529.

To learn more about off-road racing, check out lunenburgcountyoffroadracing on Facebook.

peter_simpson@hotmail.com

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