By Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Duane "Dewey" Kramer doesn't have to cross the finish line first to know he's a winner - every race Kramer finishes is a win for the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Kramer's IMCA modified racecar, designed to run dirt tracks, is the 2007 Reno-Fernley Raceway championship car of Rich Hill. It's a Dirt Works chassis, series 9 - DW9, with a 355 cubic-inch Chevy engine with 425 horsepower. The details may be important to someone because at the end of the season the car will be given away to one lucky person who will have purchased a raffle ticket.
The tickets are $20 each and will be available at each race Kramer is at including Fallon's opener at 6 p.m. Saturday, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Elko. Only 1,000 tickets are available. The drawing will be held at the end of the season.
"I started helping Make-A-Wish 13 years ago," Kramer said. "This involvement for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 401 is a way for better community involvement for our union and hopefully pull new craftsman out from in the field.
Make-A-Wish grants "wishes" to children ages 21Ú2 to 18 who have a life-threatening medical condition. Each wish costs about $7,000.
"Everything is provided for the family," said Sarah Galetti, executive director of Northern Nevada Make-A-Wish Foundation. "We grant between 35 to 40 wishes per year for 13 counties in Northern Nevada.
For crewman Chris Michelson, the efforts hit home. About five years ago, the Michelsons were granted a wish for their son, Cody, who is now 9.
Cody suffered several strokes and endured multiple open-heart surgeries at a very young age. Make-A-Wish sent the family - Chris, wife Rachael, daughters Ashley, now 11, and Kayce, now 8, along with Cody to Florida for visits to DisneyWorld and Universal Studios.
"Cody is deaf and partially paralyzed (from the strokes), but he makes the most of it," Chris said. "He's always happy."
Galetti said 80 cents of each dollar donated goes to a wish. With just four staff people, much of the work is done by volunteers.
The showcar is a two-seater which will allow for ride-alongs. A drawing for an honorary crew chief and co-driver will be held at each race. The winners will receive a T-shirt and trophy.
• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.
Make-A-Wish Racing for Wishes
IBEW Local 401
Steamboat Trailer Sales
Eternal Image Graphics
Miracle Auto Painting & Body Repair
Applied Mechanical Inc.
Allied Washoe Petroleum
Photography by Mike Getten
On the Net: www.nevadawish.org - Complete form, send in with payment.