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Everyone has a life-changing event that provides a wake up call and makes you realize what is truly important. Many of the racers we assist tend to experience a life-changing event from their accident. It makes you realize what is really important and what matters the most. Shirley Muldowney’s accident in the mid 1980s provided the start of the Drag Racing Association of Women. During the year 1985 the charity D.R.A.W. was formed by a group of women to help assist Shirley Muldowney and other drivers with their medical expenses. The original Board of Directors was composed of Mrs. Beadle, Lynn Prudhomme, Linda McCullough, Pat Gartlits, Diane Herdrich, Laura Earwood, Etta Glidden, Janie Oswald, Gere Amato and Penny Beck.
The first annual action was held during the year 1985 when Don Gartlits, Shirley Muldowney turned out to support the event. A football autographed by Dan Pastorini was part of the silent auction. Today, the silent and live auction still take place as part of the fundraising efforts for D.R.A.W.. The silent auction was originally held at the NHRA US Nationals but later was moved to the NHRA event in Chicago, Illinois due to the popular Car Craft Banquet. This year the auction will be held on Saturday evening at the NHRA national event held the first week of June in Chicago, Illinois.
In recent years one of the popular events is the annual D.R.A.W. Florida Golf Tournament. This year marks the 15th year the tournament has taken place on the Wednesday prior to the NHRA Gatornationals held in Gainesville, Florida. The past several years one team in particular has dominated the event with their talent. The team is composed of a group of sportsman racers from the Southeastern United Stated. The FLIGHT A TEAM composed of sportsman racers winners is Jeff Adkins, Steve Cohen, Jeff Strickland and Mickey Whaley. The FLIGHT B TEAM winners were Bubba Link, Jeff Serra and Mark Young. The Longest Drive was awarded to Mickey Whaley and the Closest to the Pin was awarded to Jeff Atkinson. The Best Dressed Team was awarded to Seth Conger, Billy Freeman, Jim Kalicak and Mark Mullins. The caddy for the team was Justin Brum. Several of the D.R.A.W. volunteers were on hand to assist with the event. Those volunteers who helped make the event a success were Vicki Aswege, Diane Cole, John Cole, Rosalee Noble, Terry Noble and Tracy Winters.
2010 marks the 25th anniversary for the Drag Racing Association of Women. The organization has passed the three million dollar mark in providing aid to the injured racers and their families. The organization started with one life-changing event that took place with Shirley Muldoney’s accident and has continued for over two decades. It is a great feeling to be part of an organization that truly makes the difference in lives of drag racers around the country.