While the 53rd Annual Snowball Derby kicks off on December 2, sim racers have started competing in the virtual world in several eSports events surrounding the prestigious event.
Not only do those races offer drivers the chance to earn the title of Virtual Snowball Derby Champion, they are also benefitting a local Pensacola charity.
This Sunday, 37 qualifiers will compete in the Speed51 Elite Virtual Snowball Derby at 7:30 p.m. ET. December 11-13 will also see the Speed51 eSports Virtual Snowball Derby, which will include full distance races and open setups in both a Snowball Derby and Snowflake 100.
More than 210 entries were received for both weekends of racing, with proceeds going to Cat Country 98.7’s Christmas Wish program. The program assists less fortunate families in the Pensacola, Florida community during the holiday season.
“The Christmas Wish program for Cat Country 98.7 is a community partnership, kind of like a tree,” said Brent Lane of 98.7 Cat Country. “We started this program in 2007 where you could wish for anything you wanted. Anything.”
Last year, Speed51 made a $1,000 donation to Christmas Wish, in part thanks to proceeds from the inaugural Speed51 Elite Snowball Derby.
“Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of families. I believe we’ve given away an adoption. Last year’s donation went towards a mom at the Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital who did not have reliable transportation. We teamed up with Speed51, our friends at Precision Tune, and a transmission place, and we got her van back in working order.
“What Speed51 did for us last year with $1,000, we were able to help three different families with toys, plus the family who had the issue with their van. That goes a long way towards helping someone back on their feet.”
This year’s Christmas Wish program commenced officially on Tuesday, November 24. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and damages from Hurricane Sally, Christmas Wishes are already being submitted at a record rate from families in need.
“Just on day one, we’ve gotten 100 wishes, and it went up this morning,” said Lane on Tuesday. “Usually, we get 900 wishes. I expect double that this year.”
Those who would like to contribute to the Cat Country 98.7 Christmas Wish program can do so by visiting the radio station’s website. The program offers plenty of flexibility in how you can contribute to assist families this holiday season.
“You can go to catcountry987.com. I have a link on the page under Christmas Wishes. If you want to help, fill out that form. We tailor it all kinds of different ways.”
The Speed51 Elite Snowball Derby will be live on speed51.com/esports at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 29. The Speed51 eSports Snowflake 100 and Snowball Derby will take place December 11-13, with a 1 p.m. broadcast for the feature event on Sunday, December 13 at speed51.com/esports.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Landon Huffman