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Ride across America, help a child in need

July 17, 2008 |  2:10 pm

Latsema For most of us civilians, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (aka SEMA) doesn’t impact upon our lives very much. That’s because SEMA is a trade organization involved in, among other things, the automotive aftermarket. For tuning shops and stores selling blingy wheels, SEMA is a pillar of their society.

SEMA also has a positive impact on children who have been victims of abuse, neglect and those suffering from chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Through fundraising dinners and events like the Ride Across America, SEMA has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Childhelp and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The latter was founded in 2004 by NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and his wife, Pattie, in honor of their late son, Adam.

Now it’s time for a fresh round of philanthropy. A gala banquet occurs July 25 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. But the really interesting bit is the online auction for a place in the 2009 ride. The winner will procure a package that includes Petty’s black Victory Jackpot motorcycle (a 2006 model, valued at $15,000, with a custom luggage rack built by Petty’s own fair hand, saddlebags and a full windshield) which Petty did the 2007 run on, nine nights’ hotel accommodation, meals, gas at scheduled pit stops, a designer leather jacket and more.

The auction is happening from now to July 25. All the proceeds go to these children’s charities. The eBay page has extra info.

-- Colin Ryan

Photo: SEMA