CENTRAL AUTO RACING BOOSTERS HALL OF FAME HISTORY
The Central Auto Racing Boosters Hall of Fame had completed its first extremely successful induction ceremony. There was harmony between everyone and one of our goals was apparently being accomplished young racers new to the sport and retired racers we had watched as children were suddenly interested in the Central Auto Racing Boosters. Our membership was climbing in a large part due to the Hall of Fame.
Adrienne Malinowski had become our Hall of Fame Chairwoman leading into the first ceremony and she established much of the procedures which have been utilized from the beginning. She was also a great person at handling situations. At the second induction ceremony on March 5, 2005 Greg Weld and Jerry Weld were being inducted, however, Greg was upset that Kenny Weld was not being inducted with him and Jerry. Adrienne handled his complaint and explained the process of nomination and selection perfectly. Interestingly the Hall of Fame in only its second year had created a challenge among families, even jealousy between families. This is a challenge which is apparently still ongoing.
A new challenge came about with the books which were created for each inductee. How do we share this information with the racing community? In addition, racers were digging out their saved memorabilia and wanted it on display. How were we going to display and share this information, the old newspapers, the books created for each inductee, a challenge we accepted and began working together as a team. The best idea was find a trailer we could convert and tow to the various C.A.R.B. tracks. Coming to the rescue was longtime local racer, who was a regular on the ASA circuit, Rick Beebe. He sold his show trailer to the Central Auto Racing Boosters specifically to be utilized as a mobile Hall of Fame and Museum.
Since C.A.R.B. was located at several racetracks at the time, Lakeside Speedway, Central Missouri Speedway, and I-70 Speedway the best way to share the Hall of Fame information was to take a trailer on C.A.R.B. Nights to these locations so fans, drivers, pit crew, all who loved racing could participate and view the history of racing in the area. This became even more of tool as C.A.R.B. added I-35 Speedway, Valley Speedway, and at the time I-70 Speedway Dirt. The current C.A.R.B. Hall of Fame Officers and Board of Directors sold the trailer, even when it is their task as described in the bylaws to preserve the history and the trailer was our history. This was one of the first clues the President of the Hall of Fame and Museum and her clique wanted to part ways with the founding organization, the Central Auto Racing Boosters. Interestingly, though, just last week Platte County called me and this group had not taken care of the tax situation with the trailer, I was still listed as the person of contact for the nonprofit organization on the county records.
A new challenge occurred after only the second year of the Hall of Fame. Dean Merryman passed away and we had to replace him on the selection committee. His replacement was Bud Hunnicut. Over the first eight years, the President (me) suggested Board Approved selection committee included at various times Scott Traylor, Rodney Hawkins, Bud Hunnicutt, Bob Baker, JD Cormack, Karen Darling, Ray Boyles, Vicki Davis, Jim Penney, and Diana Green. Diana and Jim were the steadfast same two on the selection committee all those years. Selection was always fun, especially when we got down to only five inductees a year. As President I did not attend any of these selection meetings until the fifth year after reports of a near fight the year before, yes, the selection process could be very much like a race night at the race track.
Another new challenge arose in 2006. After three very successful years as the C.A.R.B. Hall of Fame Chairperson, Adrienne Malinowski resigned to pursue other ventures. We are fortunate to have in the racing community Christina and Tiffany Smith who stepped forward and added their touch to the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony moved away from the Pot Luck format when we had to move away from Finnigan’s Hall because of a management change at that facility.
The new challenge was where to have the Hall of Fame Ceremony and dinner. People thought we were crazy when we announced it would be at the Gladstone Community Center. Isn’t that a work out place with a swimming pool? It is, but they also had an outstanding banquet room and we were able to bring in Christy’s catering for their mouthwatering, super tasty food! Christina Smith made it even more classy by bringing in cloth table cloths from the Marriott. The drop-down screens were an added bonus, so we could show the interviews conducted by Cheeseworks video productions.
Remember the battles of the selection process above. When the selection committee met in December 2010 to determine the 2011 inductees the committee consisted of Bud, Diana, Jim, Karen Darling, and Christina Smith. A stalemate occurred on the fifth selection and Christina had to leave so it was a 2 to 2 tie. As President I had to break the tie. This stalemate and subsequent vote led to the ongoing challenge of how many to induct each year. The Board and Officers decided after the 2011 induction ceremony to change the inductee limit up to 8 each year starting in 2012.
After two very successful Rides for Victory in 2008 and 2009 and the subsequent money we raised for the Victory Junction Camps, the Board of Directors and Officers of the Central Auto Racing Boosters turned everything towards a new goal. The Central Auto Racing Boosters, working as a team, set out to collect money for a permanent building for the Hall of Fame. In 2010, it was the El Camino drawing, in 2011 and 2012 we held auctions. The first auction was at Green Rolling Farms and brought the organization $7,508.50 for the Hall of Fame Building Fund. In addition, candles were sold which brought another $885 to fund. A second auction was held at Lakeside Speedway on October 27, 2012 bringing in another $6,000 plus for the Hall of Fame building.
The Central Auto Racing Boosters and the C.A.R.B. Hall of Fame working together as one unit was on an upward trend. Then I as the outgoing President at the end of 2011 made one of the biggest mistakes I personally have ever been involved in! On December 27, 2011 we met with Copilevitz and Canter, LLC concerning making the Hall of Fame a 501c3, a meeting I had set up. History shows we probably should have never moved this direction, as one group the Central Auto Racing Boosters were very successful, we had the Hall of Fame, we had successful banquets, we had the Bowlathon and the Golf Tournament. The racing community seemed to have a oneness about it. I take the blame for heading this divisive direction.
On July 24, 2012 a Special General Membership meeting with Nathan Thomas of Copilevitz & Canter, LLC was held where he answered questions and provided some much-needed information about what was required to move the Hall of Fame and Museum into a 501c3. After Mr. Thomas was finished the MEMBERSHIP present voted unanimously to have Mr. Thomas represent the Central Auto Racing Boosters Hall of Fame and Museum. C.A.R.B. President Mike Johnson appointed a Committee to write the mission and purpose statements and appoint a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer as the temporary Officers for the new 501(c)(3) corporation, all a new challenge for the organization.