Race team carries Skelton message 2011.10.05

Written by David Green.

p.fireball.threeThe Fireball Run is road race unlike an other for a couple of reasons.

First of all, it isn’t really a road race at all. There are cars and teams of drivers and a course to follow, but there’s no racing through the countryside.

There are a few “gentle” vehicle-related competitions along the eight-day 3,500-mile trip, but most of the action involves interactive contests and challenges along the way.

The other major difference is the cause behind the event. Each team must distribute at least a thousand posters of a missing child.

In this year’s race that ended Saturday, car #55—with members Abby O’Neill, Ace Lipka and Randy Floresca—was given the mission of spreading information about Morenci’s Andrew Skelton.

“The Race to Recover America’s Missing Children” has not been an exercise in futility. To date, the event has led to the recovery of 38 missing children, including five in 2010 and one in 2011.

Morenci teacher Andi Rorick learned about the Fireball Run on Facebook and she soon made contact with O’Neill. Rorick was Andrew’s third grade teacher until he disappeared in November 2010.

“I wanted to let her know more about him other than just what was in the news,” Rorick said.

The two began an exchange that continued throughout the Fireball event—messages that often left O’Neill in tears as she learned about Andrew’s character from his teacher. 

“I am so happy you reached out to us because we truly hope that this helps everyone!” O’Neill wrote. “We worked so hard through this mission...over 40,000 posters were distributed in eight days for all of these kids.

“Our hearts melted when we heard there was one child found on our trip already so we know that this process truly works! We are praying and hoping that our efforts help to bring these amazing Skelton brothers home.”

Rorick invited the Team #55 to attend the prayer vigil Sunday in Wakefield Park and O’Neill is checking her calendar. There may be some special guests in town this weekend.

  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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