Local family modifies demo cars to benefit autism research


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Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2012, 7:13 pm
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By Aaron Dail
When John and Kodi Wright of Lyndon, Ill., were told last November that their sons Axil, 2, and Blake, 3, have autism, they decided to do something positive.

Avid Demo Derby fans and participants, they decided to start modifying cars for demolition derbies and then auction them off at events, with all the proceeds going to research through Autism Speaks (autismspeaks.org).

"Since there isn't a cure, we just figured it should go toward research," said Ms. Wright. "I called Bill Gussey at the Bike Barn in Lyndon (where demo derbies are held) and he was more than happy to help us do this."

"The number of children with autism is growing tremendously, and they don't know why," said Ms. Wright. "There's no research that says its one thing. I didn't realize how many children are affected. Blake was really advanced with talking and walking, but after he got his 1-year-old shots, he wasn't the same."

"They had auctioned a car off for something before, but they never had a cause," said Mr. Wright, who came up with the idea to raffle off a demo car and donates about 20 hours of his time getting a car ready for the competition. "It just seemed perfect; our kids love demo derbies."

After purchasing the first car to modify and raffle off, the Wrights got a second car by donation.

"We raised $1,500 in the last two derbies," said Mrs. Wright. "Since there isn't a cure, we just figured the money should go toward research.

"We just approach everybody and ask if they want to buy raffle tickets. We will be doing it again next summer and beyond."

To contact the Wrights about car donations, email k_wright2008@yahoo.com.






 












 



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  Today is Thursday, July 24, the 205th day of 2014. There are 160 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The Rev. R.J. Humphrey, once a clergyman in this city, was reported killed in a quarrel in New Orleans.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Citizens Improvement Association held a special meeting to consider the proposition of consolidating Rock Island and Moline.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The home of A. Freeman, 806 3rd Ave., was entered by a burglar while a circus parade was in progress and about $100 worth of jewelry and $5 in cash were taken.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The million dollar dredge, Rock Island, of the Rock Island district of United States engineers will be in this area this week to deepen the channel at the site of the new Rock Island-Davenport bridge.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Argus "walked" to a 13-0 victory over American Container Corporation last night to clinch the championship of Rock Island's A Softball League at Northwest Douglas Park.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Immediate Care Center emergency medical office at South Park Mall is moving back to United Medical Center on Sept. 1. After nearly six years in operation at the mall, Care Center employees are upset by UMC's decision. The center is used by 700 to 800 people each month.








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