AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Burnouts for Kids is an event hosted by the Bring it Back Meets Organization at the Carolina Dragway in Aiken.
In 2021, they raised around $15,000. More than $24,000 in 2022.
“The focus is really on having lots of local sponsors, local businesses, and private donors,” said Nate Prater, the founder of Bring it Back Meets’ Burnouts for Kids. “Without these people, we really wouldn’t have been able to bring in the amount of money that we’ve spent on the hospitals.”
Prater was in and out of hospitals throughout his childhood, making this very personal to him.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to give away so many toys and know that for some reason a child is in a hospital bed,” he said. “Knowing that in a really bad situation, they’re going to have a little bit of joy, even if it’s just for a split second — that’s basically what we’re doing it for.”
The toys went to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital.
One of the event’s judges had a drag racing accident in 2015 and was flown to the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital. He remembers that many child patients had to spend their holidays there.
“I thought one way to give back would be to give these kids Christmas presents to take some of the financial burden off the families that were there,” said Lyle Barnett, drag racer, fire victim and fundraiser for the hospital. “I just want to do my best every year to give back and show them a little token of my appreciation because they are 100 percent the reason I’m here today.”
And the surgeons at the hospital think the best part is that the spirits are lifted.
“While [it is] a potentially traumatic event for a child, however we can use our large team that we have assembled to care for this population and give them a small treat like a gift – the best of everyone’s day” said Dr. Shawn Fagan, the chief medical officer for the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America and a surgeon at the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital.
The next Burnouts for Kids is scheduled to be held at Carolina Dragway later this year. The organizers are also holding races on May 4th, 5th and 6th to scout for potential sponsors.
Click here for dates and times.