This year more than any year can be attributed to a split. So many things happened it is hard to begin, but begin we will. This starts actually on a December day at the Brickyard Bar and Grill in Smithville, Missouri. Diana and I met Mike and Kyle Johnson (president and vice-president of C.A.R.B. having a meeting) and we had a myriad of things to discuss, but one of them was what fundraiser would we do in the Central Auto Racing Boosters to build off the $4,000 the organization made off the El Camino drawing. We left the meeting without an answer but within 10 minutes Mike called and suggested an auction. The more we thought about it the better this idea sounded.
We brought this idea to the board of directors and a committee was assigned and off we started on an auction. Initially the idea was a benefit auction with an auctioneer donating his time and the event being held at Kansas Speedway. The committee made an adjustment and scheduled it for Lakeside Speedway on October 15, 2011. We were all working together towards a common goal of fund raising for a Hall of Fame Museum. At this time C.A.R.B. was open and willing to share financial records and willing to keep everyone informed of the progress being made cannot say the same today, but that is one of the mistakes made at the end of this year.
June 30, 2011 became a day anyone associated with Lakeside Speedway will remember. A man made flood created by the U.S. Corp of Engineers, over topped the levees by the track and flooded the property. This flood created many problems, for owner Marc Olson, his business had to shut down, for the racer they either parked their cars or found new tracks to race, for the Hall of Fame Auction Committee it meant we needed to find a new place for the auction and a place we could store auction items. It also created a situation for the annual “Oldtimers Banquet”. Basically the flood created a downturn in what was a positive step forward of the racing community working together. Later in the year we will find the racing community working together but splits had developed and were just getting ready to mushroom.
The first issue was the racers not having a place to race on Friday night, Mike Johnson offered I-35 Speedway as a possible solution. The next issue was the “Oldtimers Banquet” it was moved to I-35 Speedway on August 20, 2011 thanks again to Mike and Kyle Johnson offering their track. However, no sooner did the Central Auto Racing Boosters accept the Johnson’s generosity, the rumors started “it’s too far for people to drive”. This stepped on people’s toes and in reality I-35 Speedway is a short drive up Interstate 35 exit 64 and the track is to the right. This is one of the easiest tracks to find in the area. The rumor though accomplished its goal it badly hurt attendance.
The auction idea was still floating in the wind also as the event no longer had a location. One morning the idea hits me, let’s have it at Green Rolling Farms, we are close to the city, we had a place for donations to come and be stored, and we had plenty of parking to hold an auction. After conversing with Vice President Mike Johnson we agreed this would be a great place to hold the location so we presented it to the Board of Directors. It was not unanimous but the decision was made to move forward with the farm idea. However, the faction that did not support the farm idea continued to voice their opposition.
On September 19, 2011 and again on October 22, 2011 a bunch of us met at Lakeside Speedway and began the clean-up process after the flood waters had receded. Again a bunch of people working together but there was a huge underlying movement who had begun to talk puppets into taking over the Hall of Fame and the Central Auto Racing Boosters. Literally these people were pulling others strings and still continue to do it today!
October 15, 2011 the first Hall of Fame and Museum Auction was held at Green Rolling Farms. After months of collecting items and me obtaining my auctioneer license we were off selling. AlRIGHT FOLKS WHAT YOU WANNA GIVE? When we were all said and done the organization raised over $8,000 in this event. Of course we had an IMCA Stock Car chassis donated by Jim Peeler that brought $2,400. This was a very successful event which can be traced to Mike Johnson’s idea back in December 2010.
October 22, 2011, on cleanup day at Lakeside Speedway Lowell Christy approached Karen Darling about running for President of the Central Auto Racing Boosters. Karen spent a good portion of the day letting everyone know this information. But as the time came closer there was an issue, Karen did not qualify for the president position because she had not served in an officer position, a requirement per the constitution (back when constitutions were followed). This created a split in the organization, a split which years later is discovered to be caused by a lack of communication and an underground power thirst by one person (not me even though I will be accused of it years later). I was the person after nine years of being president who wanted out, someone else’s time to lead and do the work. Hindsight being 20/20 maybe I should have continued on but believe me I was tired.
At a contentious November Board meeting it was determined who could and could not run for president. Mike Johnson accepted the nomination at the next general membership meeting, also accepting the nomination was Rodney Hawkins via email. Immediately after this meeting I was advised my services were no longer needed at I-35 Speedway, my replacement – Karen Darling.
You would think this would have been enough in 2011, but no we are not done. At the December election as President I appointed Diana Green, Debbie Bergman, and Terry Wantland as the three members to count the ballots (all outstanding members of the racing community). This was done as required by the C A.R.B. Constitution and as we followed what was done before us. Before we could move on though Karen Darling made a motion which was seconded that we add Marla Christy as a fourth person to count the vote. Obviously, there was a split and a group of people did not trust Diana, Debbie, and Terry in counting the vote. The membership voted to have Marla observe the counting of the ballots.
Then the one event which may have led to the split more than any other and it can be attributed to me. I did a search on google for an attorney to take the Hall of Fame and Museum and split it off as a 501c3. People were making donations to C.A.R.B. and the Hall of Fame and expecting to legally take their donation as a tax deduction. This can only be done if the organization is a 501c3. I discovered one of the best attorneys in the area was Errol Copilevitz, who has twice defended nonprofits successfully before the Supreme Court. I contacted Mr. Copilevitz and scheduled a consultation appointment for December 27, 2011.
On December 27, 2011 several members of the Board of Directors met in Mr. Copilevitz meeting room to have our questions answered. Interestingly on one side of the table sat the incoming officers and board of directors and on the other side of the table sat Diana and myself. You could have cut the tension in the air with a knife and this tension would follow into the 2012 racing season.
So at this point who split the local racing community?