On June 9th a group of our young men from traveled to Charlotte and were treated to a day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame! The group departed from MHCO at 6:30 that morning. A quick stop was made at the Burlington Shrine Club for everyone to stretch their legs and grab a biscuit or two for the ride. The caravan didn’t stop again until they reached Charlotte. There we met Brother Gary Cooke, who led them the rest of the way to the Hall of Fame.
Upon arrival, our group was led to a classroom for our first activity. There we met NASCAR driver David Ragan! He spoke to us about what it is really like to be a racecar driver. He also signed autographs for everyone and answered questions from our group. We were thrilled to meet him and learn more about his line of work.
Next, we participated in an activity to help us understand how much money you would need to fund an actual racecar. Our hosts asked questions and correct answers earned play money for the groups. They were able to purchase items to help them build a much smaller car of their own. They could even purchase consulting if they had enough play money! The groups worked very hard building their cars and when we were all done, each group was able to send their car on a ride. The cars all looked different…and some looked funny! It was a fun and engaging activity!
Next, we had lunch! We were treated to Bojangles chicken tenders, fries, and biscuits. Our boys were hungry, and they ate all they could hold!
After lunch, we were able to split up and explore the museum areas on our own. We were also given an All-Day Pass for the Simulator. Our group REALLY enjoyed the Simulator. There was quite a bit of competition amongst our folks. As you can see from the picture, Mr. Johnny Surles was victorious for that particular race. Our young men also enjoyed causing other drivers to wreck…. even before they left Pit Road! Did I mention they were competitive?
Other activities the group enjoyed included performing a pit stop with an actual car. One person operated the jack, another was responsible for drilling the lug nuts, and a third filled the gas tank. Three of our young men performed a complete pit stop in under 8 seconds, setting an incredible record for the day! We were also able to see and experience “Glory Road” where there were real racecars. We saw tons of memorabilia and learned a lot about NASCAR, how it was founded, NASCAR champions, Hall of Fame inductees, and we even saw Lightin’ McQueen!
After a fun filled day at the Hall of Fame, our group travelled to the Oasis Shrine Temple in Charlotte. That was great planning on our hosts part because are young men were definitely hungry again! They served us a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, tossed salad and all the fixings, French bread, and homemade desserts.
The Masonic Home for Children is grateful to those who provided this amazing experience to our young men. This day will be a memory for them to look back on for many years to come. Thank you all so, so much! The special donors who contributed, planned, and funded this activity are as follows:
- The NASCAR Hall of Fame
- Brother Brad & Dianne Orr
- WB Gary & Lisa Cooke
- Matthews Masonic Lodge No. 261
- West Gate Masonic Lodge No. 738
- Metrolina Shrine Club
- East Gate Masonic Lodge No. 692
- Newell Masonic Lodge No. 739
- Long Creek Masonic Lodge No. 205
- Andrews Masonic Lodge No. 702
- WB Bobby Burchell
- WB & Mrs. Bob McIntosh
- Brother Donnie Wrenn
- WB Brian Turner