DA8 Strong Fundraiser at Pole Position Raceway

Spirit of giving and family mark Destry Abbott fundraiser

When former Dirt Rider Editor Ken Faught read about Destry Abbott being diagnosed last month with leukemia, he knew he could make a difference by raising money to help offset the astronomical medical costs that the Abbott's will face with Destry’s extended stays in the hospital and chemotherapy.

After all, through Faught’s Pole Position Raceway indoor electric go-kart tracks, he’s hosted a number of fundraisers over the years and he believed that experience and the motorcycle industry’s willingness to pitch in would guarantee a successful venture.

DA8 Strong Auction at Pole Position
Auctioneer Dano Legere and former Daytona 200 road race winner Don Emde bring the bids up for a signed and framed Ryan Villopoto jersey (held by Johnny “Ringo” Scharnweber) and helmet. The highest winning bid for the night belonged to another collectible jersey created by THOR and signed by Destry Abbott that went for $4500.Photo by Mark Kariya

He was correct. A few weeks after the first big Destry Abbott fundraiser (a ride day at a local Arizona track that drew over 700 despite temperatures over 100 degrees, the one at Pole Position proved cooler and though it didn’t draw that many people, it still attracted a good crowd more than willing to break out credit cards and cash for a chance to win any of the dozens of auction and raffle items, all of which would be valuable to someone. There were, for instance, two autographed RIcky Carmichael Fox Racing jerseys, a set of Jeremy McGrath’s THOR riding gear, an MSR jersey signed by Malcolm Smith himself and the official Team HRC jacket that Ricky Brabec wore at the Dakar Rally this year, among many other desirable collectibles. Besides moto-related memorabilia, there were several other unique offerings including a couple motor home rentals worth $1000 each, a two-day desert exploration and firearms coaching trip by retired Navy SEAL Andrew Wilkins and four tickets and post-concert backstage passes to any of the upcoming Lyle Lovett and His Large Band shows.

Ron Purvines made the round-trip drive from Las Vegas to the event in Corona, California, in order to support not just the fundraiser but to support a valued sponsor of his Purvines Racing Beta desert racing team. Yes, Abbott is among the Purvines sponsors through his DA8 Training center and Purvines returned the favor; from the moment he walked in, he had credit card smoking hot beginning with purchasing $2000 in raffle tickets for the KX500 that Abbott built as a replica of the bike he won several of his AMA Hare & Hound National championships on.

And he didn’t stop there, bidding on—and winning—nearly everything during the live auction via proxy Ryan Marshall, one of his support riders.

Ivan Ramirez and Eric Yorba
Ivan Ramirez (left, wearing Red Bull cap) couldn’t believe that his friend Eric Yorba (red hat on right) won the RC truck in the raffle. Yorba bought just two tickets while Ramirez ponied up for a string of them.Photo by Mark Kariya

It prompted a quiet buzz through the crowd: Who was this guy and what was he going to do with all that stuff?

As it turns out, Purvines does plan to add many of the items to his collection, but his primary motivation matched the event’s purpose: build a war chest of funds that’ll help defray Abbott’s looming medical bills.

And he didn’t take everything back with him to Vegas. He revealed, “I probably gave away a half-dozen things on my way out.” One of those things was the Lyle Lovett concert package, with Purvines stunning EnduroCross announcer Laurette Nicoll (a cancer survivor herself)—who couldn’t match the bid Purvines offered—by tapping her on the shoulder afterwards, handing her the certificate and saying, “This is for you.”

That took her completely by surprise before she grasped what was happening and managed to blurt out, “Thank you!”

DA8 Strong Auction at Pole Position
Moto-hero jerseys comprised much of the live and silent auction items.Photo by Mark Kariya

On an evening that raised an estimated $40,000 for the Abbotts, that act symbolized what it was all about. (Though no other fundraisers are planned at this time, the Abbotts will continue to accept donations via several avenues, one of which is their original GoFundMe account [https://www.gofundme.com/24pwufw] and the KX500 raffle tickets www.road2recovery.com/da8kx500, with the winner being drawn on July 13—Destry's birthday]. They're also planning to create a website that'll sell T-shirts and other items. In addition, things left over from the Pole Position fundraiser will be sold on eBay by AMA District 37 in the near future.)

Admiring Destry Abbott's KX500
Mark (left) and Troy Vanscourt study the KX500 racer replica that Destry Abbott built and will be auctioned off on his birthday (July 13). Tickets are still available online, and donations to the Destry Abbott GoFundMe account continue to be welcomed.Photo by Mark Kariya