Mighty Monster Joins Parade In Support Of A Worthy Cause!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s October 2015 issue.
This month’s Backyard may be a little more serious than usual but I wanted to share how I was able to use our hobby for something more than just fun. It really doesn’t take much to convince me to go play with my toy trucks. This past July, however, I had an opportunity to not only play but to support and help bring attention to the Nathan Chris Baker Foundation here in Eldersburg, Maryland. NCBF was established in 2012, when Justin and Katie Baker lost their middle child in a tragic accident not long aft er he started Kindergarten.
The foundation’s ﬁrst fundraising eﬀ ort was to have a playground built at Nathan’s elementary school. It was a huge success and exceeded their goals. This was the start of something much bigger than what the Bakers had envisioned but they knew they could build on this opportunity to spread Nathan’s message to “Go Out Be GREAT!”
SPREAD THE WORD
One way they choose to spread the word about the NCBF is to participate in local parades. The Winﬁ eld Volunteer Fire Department, in Sykesville, MD holds a parade to wrap up their annual carnival. I was asked to help create a ﬂ oat for the NCBF to pull in this much anticipated parade.
While working on the project I recalled another parade that I was involved in up in Denver, PA. I pulled my then 9-year old son in a wagon with a stock Traxxas Summit. It was so well received that spectators were actually throwing candy back to my son in the wagon. What a great idea for this parade!! I built a Super Summit a couple of years back for an edition of RC TRUCK and it has since been mostly sitting idle and collecting dust. This is the perfect reason to clean it oﬀ and tune it up.
The last time I had the Summit out it was pulling Cub Scouts around a ﬁeld at a campout so it needed a little maintenance to be ready. Once that was taken care of I wanted to update the decals on the body to reﬂ ect the NCBF message. I cut some vinyl for the sides and hood and while I had the cutter warmed up I made a logo for the front and sides of the wagon. I found an old lawn chair cushion to put in the wagon for comfort and the rig was ready to go.
A group of foundation volunteers followed the ﬂoat. On the ﬂ oat was the NCBF mascot and a sliding board that represents the playground equipment that started this whole adventure. I had two volunteers (shown below) that took turns riding in the wagon and waving to the spectators, who, it seemed, enjoyed the RC wagon as much as the kids riding it. In spite of me having to ﬁ x a wheel on the Summit just prior to the judges’ stand, and completing it just after, The Nathan Chris Baker ﬂ oat won ﬁ rst place. I would like to think that the cheers for the girls in the wagon had something to do with that.
Any chance we get to promote the hobby is a good thing. But I get even more pleasure out of using the hobby to help promote something bigger. Since 2012, the Nathan Chris Baker Foundation has raised more than $130k to give back to the community. To see how and why they did it check out their website at nathanchrisbaker.com