Alex Burkett has always been willing to help racers. Whether it was financial aid through his place of business, or simply a pat on the back or words of encouragement, Burkett was there with support. Now, his family is looking for that same support from the racing community for the gentle man with a big heart.
Burkett, who recently retired from Crown Battery, long a supporter of area racing through team, track and series sponsorships, is battling pancreatic cancer. He has been in various hospitals the past several months, unable to attend the races he so loves.
When David Harrison won the 410 sprint feature at Fremont Speedway on April 26, he dedicated the victory to his father-in-law.
"He has been so supportive of me and a lot of other racers...I just hope everyone prays for him and remembers him," said Harrison.
Burkett's grandson, Josh Harrison, also races 410 sprints at Fremont.
Burkett's son, Jim, said his dad wouldn't want people to feel sorry for him.
"He would rather they help others. That gave us the idea for the 'Racers Racing For the Cure.' We are planning a lot of activities to benefit the American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross," said Jim. "Dad has helped so many racers over the years...we know the racing community will show their support of him."
The Alex Burkett Honorary Blood Drive will be held in the Flower Building at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 8.
"Every day, cancer patients just like dad depend on blood donations. We're hoping the racers and fans will step up and donate," said Jim.
To donate blood, you have to be at least 17-years-old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health and provide a valid state photo ID.
There will also be a 50/50 raffle that day and a barbecue at the fairgrounds sponsored by the Davis Brothers Racing, MSD Racing and East Side Great Scot Supermarket. There will be a silent auction and raffles including items from NASCAR drivers. You may also purchase tickets for the grand prize drawing of four days and three nights in Las Vegas (trip includes air fare and hotel).
The family and friends of Alex Burkett and Harrison Racing will also take part in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Fremont's Conner Park on June 20. Sponsors are needed for the team.
The two Burger King restaurant locations in Fremont will also hold an Alex Burkett Day, Tuesday, June 17. Special flyers have been printed, and if you bring one of them into either of the two Fremont restaurants on June 17, Burger King will donate a portion of the purchase price of your meal to the Racers Racing for the Cure.
Racers Racing for the Cure culminates at Fremont Speedway on Burger King Night, Saturday, June 21. Drivers will go through the stands seeking donations. And, the grand prize drawing will be held for the trip to Las Vegas!
"Dad has the 1965 Fremont Speedway pace car. We're trying to get it ready to be at the track that night," added Jim.