Live Oak —
Engines are primed and drivers are set to burn grass off the starting line at the 14th Annual Lawn Mower Race on Saturday morning.
The Arc North Florida is hosting its 14th Annual Lawn Mower Race at John’s Lawn Equipment, on US 129 North, in Live Oak, on Saturday, March 24, in conjunction with John’s Lawn Equipment open house.
Local racing celebrity Fain Skinner will also be at the event with his car from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for a meet and greet with fans.
Last year there were about 100 riders, including individuals and teams. The event can get pretty heated in the competition, development assistant Janet Sampson said.
“The seasoned riders that have been doing this for years have all the tricks. It gets pretty competitive,” Sampson said.
All of the mowers are provided by John’s Lawn Equipment for the race to have a level playing field, but Sampson said that there are tricks to be had from getting on and off the mowers to help out teammates, stealing keys and hitching lawn mowers that are ahead in the race.
“The new racers just watch and wonder what is going on,” Sampson said. “It is just a lot of fun.”
Racers take to the figure eight track with pit stops at each of the six to eight sponsored booths. Sampson said that in previous races riders have had various stops such as rolling $10 in quarters for First Federal Bank of Florida.
Rider and team registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the clippings will fly at 10 a.m.
Sampson said the annual race is “to support the services and programs provided, it is imperative that we raise additional monies above what the government funds. We have seen a 25 percent funding cut since 2005 and every year more funding is cut. It is through the support of organizations and fundraisers that we have been able to meet the needs of so many individuals.”
The Arc North Florida is a 501 (C)(3) charity that was founded in 1981. It provides support services to adults with a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc provides an Adult Day Training, advocacy, independent employment services, residential services and personal care assistance to its clients in Suwannee, Hamilton, Lafayette, Columbia and Baker counties. The majority of the 100 clients served by Arc of North Florida are in Suwannee County, with two Adult Day Training programs, Sampson said. There is also one ADT program in Jasper. Of the 100 clients served, 50 of them are adults.
According to the Arc North Florida, the support from this race will help individuals receive “the necessary training to function as independently as possible and each client is provided opportunities to participate fully in the community.”
The Arc has been an approved provider and sponsored partner of United Way of Suwannee Valley since 2005.
For more information on the race, or to support the race by being an individual racer, racing team or pit stop crew, please visit ArcNFl.com, or call the office at 386-362-7143.