A pair of Wisconsin race teams have taken to social media and their communities to help raise money for two local families that suffered recent tragedies. Ty Majeski has put together a door raffle with proceeds going to support the Diemel families, while the Brooks & Thiel team of Wyatt Brooks and Jordan Thiel have done several activities over the past couple of weeks to raise money to help support the Ortner family.
“I think any time you can make a change for the better, you should. If people know my name, that’s fine but the overall objective is to help these families,” Majeski told Speed51.com. “I’m proud to be in a position that can make a difference and I hope this helps.”
“Brian and his family are part of our community and we wanted to show our support for him and his family when they needed it most,” Brooks said.
The story of the Diemel brothers hit close to home for Majeski as they have family in his hometown of Seymour, Wisconsin and operate out of the nearby town of Bonduel. The two brothers went missing while on a business trip to Missouri. The brothers have been presumed dead, sending their family in Wisconsin reeling and with little answers.
“I was in Charlotte when the Diemel brothers disappeared and my parents called to tell me about it. The Diemel brothers are from my hometown,” Majeski explained. “It was so confusing on what happened to them. I didn’t know them personally, but when you are from a small town people come together. I thought about what I can do to help. Then on Thursday at the Blue Race it struck me, all these great fans sitting in the stands. I’m sure every one of them knows about this tragedy. I thought maybe we can work together and help the family. That’s when we decided to do a raffle. We get a lot of requests for car parts so it just made sense.”
Majeski hit social media yesterday posting about #doorsfordiemels. The driver of the No. 91 machine will be raffling off a race driven door tonight during the Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway with all proceeds going to the Diemel family. Tickets will be one for $2, three for $5, 10 for $10 and 25 for $25 and anyone who purchases $20 worth will also receive a Ty Majeski can koozie. The winner will receive the door, have it autographed and get a photo with the Seymour, WI driver.
“My grandpas on both sides of my family were farmers and my dad grew up on a farm. I guess between being from my home town and being farmers, it just hit home,” Majeski said. “Family is everything. I feel so bad for everyone involved and I am happy to be able to do something to help. We will be selling at the Dixieland 250 and also online.”
Anyone who wishes to purchase tickets online can do so via PayPal. A photo of their tickets will be sent to anyone purchasing online and the winning ticket will be drawn and announced at the race as well as online.
Majeski’s Facebook post currently has 379 shares and he hopes to keep the word going throughout the day.
Over the past few weeks the Brooks & Thiel team has hit social media hard and a hosted a number of events raising money for the Ortner family. Tornados and severe thunderstorms ripped through Central Wisconsin recently and Brian Ortner, a powerline worker, was severely injured during storm clean-up.
“The massive storms on July 20th that composed of 20 plus tornados bulldozed through central Wisconsin, where nearly all of our crew members reside. We were fortunate enough to only lose a couple trees but the rest of the state suffered severe power outages,” Brooks said. “We were so appreciative of the hard work the linemen and workers did to clear the lines of debris and restore power. Once we heard what had happened to Brian it was a no brainer that we would support him and his family anyway possible.”
The Brooks & Thiel team kicked off their campaign #RacingforBrian at the ARCA Midwest Tour race at State Park Speedway, selling decals and t-shirts and adorning the hood of their racecar with a logo they developed for the cause. They followed it up with raising awareness at Golden Sands Speedway the next week and a fundraiser at their local bar last weekend. So far they have raised more than $9,000 for the Ortner family.
“The response has been unimaginable,” Brooks stated. “The community stepped up with support. It started with some decals that would we sold for $10 each, then went on to sell t-shirts with the same logo and that took off as well. Our sponsors, local businesses, news channels, race teams and race fans all showed their support and we can’t thank them enough for taking part in supporting the Ortner Family.”
Family members of the Ortner family have showed their appreciation as well. A few made it to State Park Speedway for the Midwest Tour race, while Books & Thiel have been in constant contact with Brian’s wife Amy, and even gotten the chance to talk to Brian, who is paralyzed and currently in Denver for further treatment.
“We have only been able to communicate with Brian through Facetime but we met Amy and their two children Aubrey and Bennett at one of our sponsors business,” Brooks said. “We brought the WI Proud #RacingForBrian car for them to see which was a nice distraction for the kids. It was an amazing experience meeting them. They are such a strong family with an unbreakable bond. They were so thankful and humble and didn’t understand why we would do something like this for them.”
-Story by: Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Ty Majeski Facebook