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Kids Klub director having fun

Rhonda Costa-Landers, Appeal Staff Writer

Chris Slabaugh isn’t doing it for money. And she’s certainly not in it for her health, though it keeps her very busy.

As director of the Kids Klub at Champion Motor Speedway, Slabaugh is having the time of her life just playing with a bunch of kids.

“I absolutely enjoy the interaction with the kids,” Slabaugh said.

“I have plans to do whatever they want to do each Saturday night because I want them to have fun.”

Activities in the club include face painting, coloring, a bounce house, bicycle races — on the track — and econo-box racing, where each kid gets to create their own race car out of a cardboard box.

Slabaugh said the club has about 35 season members. Any kid who is not a season member, can pay by the night, which is $2. The payment is then credited toward a season membership, which is $10 per child.

“We allow them to pay over a five-night deal,” Slabaugh said. “This also includes their entry into the bicycle races.”

The bicycle races are at 6:30 p.m. when the track is idle and drivers are in their pre-race meeting in the pits.

There are two age groups for racing, 5-9 and 10-14. Each winner of their respective division gets a trophy, each participant receives a ribbon from Ponderosa Stamp and Engraving, sponsors of the races. Records are kept of each week’s winners and at the end of the season, overall winners will be announced.

“I like that the kids come back each week and know what to expect (from me),” Slabaugh said. “That way there’s no surprises.”

Several kids are chosen each week to be trophy presenters to dash and main event winners for that night.

“I get to see their excitement after they get out of the pace car and they thoroughly enjoy it. We give everyone a chance to be a presenter.”

The Kids Klub is centered in Earnhardt Memorial Park, which features a different bounce house each week.

Slabaugh has several part-time helpers; Crystal Larson and Jamie Gormon are the teenage helpers, and Reina Lee helps Slabaugh. Downtime at the park includes Matchbox racing, bubble gum blowing contests and cards.

“Each member receives a membership card and I’m working on goody bags for each season member,” Slabaugh said.

Slabaugh, 34, who sells advertising for the Nevada Appeal, has been married 13 years to Ryan, and has two children, Erich, 7, and Amanda, 10. The family recently moved to Carson City from Pensacola, Fla.

“It’s just fun, I really enjoy it. I like to see the kids have so much fun.”