NASCAR driver helps Carson City children
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
NASCAR driver Mackena Bell said she realized she’d have to try to fill a trailer with coats, hats, gloves and toys for Carson City children instead of her race cars that she brought to her charity drive Saturday.
“There’s not a lot, a lot of room in them,” she said.
But the 18-year-old Carson High School graduate said she was happy to help collect clothes that will be distributed by the Carson school district and toys that will go to Toys for Tots.
Bell hosted the charity drive with her 13-year-old sister, Kellcy Bell, who encouraged the drive after noticing that some other students at Eagle Valley Middle School couldn’t afford coats for the winter.
Kellcy said her family helped with a charity drive when she was in elementary school and it was time to do it again.
“Mackena and Kellcy thank you for your donation,” said a handmade sign taped to the trailer.
The sisters’ mother, Shannon Bell, said donations started coming in 45 minutes before the drive started Saturday morning and she was happy to see that people had brought even new coats.
Mackena decided she could help bring attention to the cause, Shannon has said, and the family is working to help meet a “huge” demand for winter clothes this year in Carson City.
Kathy Hawkins, a relative, said she donated toys Saturday because of the need in Carson City that Mackena brought up.
“We really believe in her cause, of course.” Hawkins said. “It’s a great way to support the Christmas spirit.”
Mackena, a former prom queen, is head of Mackena Bell Motorsports and has racing titles in both dirt and asphalt competitions. She is a NASCAR Whelen Late Model Series driver with 18 starts, three top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes.
Her next race is Saturday in Red Bluff, Calif.
Ken Barrette said he’s had fun working as a mechanic on Mackena’s team in a racing world that hasn’t given the young driver any special treatment.
“If anything, she might have had to work a little bit harder to prove herself,” he said.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.