The National Promoters Group and Racer X's Hurricane Katrina benefit auction at the conclusion of the Monster Energy/Kawasaki Pro MX National this past Sunday raised an incredible $49,000.The outpouring of generosity from the 15,900 motocross fans in attendance was amazing, as was the amount of auction items donated by all the top riders. Makita/Suzuki's Ricky Carmichael stepped up big, donating his hyper-custom BBR/Suzuki 110cc mini bike, which started a bidding war between industry heavies Jeff Cernic (Cernic's Suzuki) and Ken Block of DC Shoes. When the smoke cleared on that one, Block plunked down almost $17,000 for the replica RC mini bike.Other highlights from Sunday's post-race auction included:• The AMA matched the first $5,000 donated to the NPG.
• Scott USA donating five $1,000 gift certificates, followed by Scott front man Bevo Forti purchasing a signed Moto Des Nations helmet (RC, Kevin Windham and Ivan Tedesco) for $1,200. Forti then gave the helmet to his friend, Jeff Cernic, as a gift for his shop.
• An RC-signed blown up Racer X magazine cover and signed jersey brought in $3,300.
• Hats passed through the crowd during the race by Racer Productions staff members brought in $2,300.
• 125 class winner Broc Hepler donated two signed jerseys which fetched $2,000.
• Officials at Twin Air Filters, who couldn't attend, sent in a check for $2,000.
• James Stewart overnighted a jersey and pants that somebody paid $1,000 for.
• Beginning on Saturday, FMX legend Mad Mike Jones fired up the early-arriving crowd of amateur racers with a revved-up freestyle display, followed by a heartfelt call to donate to the cause. The 500 fans in attendance flocked to the fence to meet Jones, who walked along patiently, taking dollar after dollar until more than $1,000in mostly dollar billswas crammed into his helmet.Added racer Kevin Windham, who makes his home an hour away from New Orleans in Centreville, Miss.: "This tragic event really hit home with me. So to see our industry and fans step up the way they did here at Steel City really says a lot about the sport of motocross and the people involved at all levels. I'm proud of our sport.""It was something else to see how the great fans of motocross responded in to our national emergency in this time of need," said Nationals announcer Tim Cotter of Racer Productions. "With the attendance down due to the gas prices and our amateur races being cut back, we were amazed with the amount of money we were able to raise."The goal of the NPG is to raise the awareness of motocross through the production of professional championship racing events. For more information on the NPG and motocross results, please visit our web site at mxnationals.com. For more information on Steel City, please visit www.steelcitymx.com.