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.bridge Cross
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
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    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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