PHOENIX WINNER ETCHELLS AND MAMA ROSA'S PIZZA COMBINE WITH SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT TO "BEAT THE HEAT" IN GAINESVILLE PUTNAM, CT, March 2, 1998 - No matter how hard he tries, or how well he behaves, Chuck Etchells will have a run-in...
PHOENIX WINNER ETCHELLS AND MAMA ROSA'S PIZZA COMBINE WITH SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT TO "BEAT THE HEAT" IN GAINESVILLE
PUTNAM, CT, March 2, 1998 - No matter how hard he tries, or how well he behaves, Chuck Etchells will have a run-in with the law at this week's Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. However, there will be no warrants, no arrests and no handcuffs. In fact, the NHRA's most recent winner in the Funny Car division will be the person in charge. It's all part of MaMa Rosa's Pizza's participation in the Seminole County Sheriff's Department's Beat the Heat anti-drug and anti-alcohol education program for area youths. On Saturday, Gilardi Foods, parent company of MaMa Rosa's Pizza, will give thirty young people the opportunity to experience the unique thrill of NHRA Winston Drag Racing first hand. One of their stops during their visit to the Florida quarter-mile will be Chuck Etchells' Nitro Funny Car pit area, where they will meet with the pilot of the Kendall/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Camaro.
"I think it's great that MaMa Rosa's has gotten involved in the "Beat the Heat" program, and I'm glad to help out this weekend," said Etchells. "As a parent, I applaud their efforts -anytime we can use the sport of drag racing for the betterment of our kids, I'm all for it."
Beat the Heat is the brainchild of Sgt. Don Robertson of the Jacksonville, Florida Sheriff's Department, who started the program in 1984. Since then, it has grown to include over forty agencies in eight states. Its primary emphasis is to illustrate to young people the dangers of drug and alcohol use and the importance of a good education. Using a fully volunteer staff of Law Enforcement Officers, Beat the Heat also instills a strong sense of community in its participants, while promoting a spirit of cooperation between Law Enforcement and the people they serve.
The sport of NHRA Winston Drag Racing is an integral part of the Beat the Heat program, as evidenced by its theme "Racing for Education". As part of its educational process, every aspect of the sport is broken down into five study areas (math, science, language arts, reading and social studies), and works as a catalyst to promote further learning. Law Enforcement Officers reinforce this message through use of their "rolling classrooms", which are drag race cars painted to replicate the units used to patrol, down to the light bars on the roof. In addition to competing against each other on the track, these vehicles will be used at various public events, such as Safety Fairs and Graduations. It is all part of the program's goal to develop a lasting bond between the youth, racing and the community.
"The tie-in with NHRA Drag Racing is a natural," stated Lt. Jack Cash of the Seminole County Sheriff's Department. "The Beat the Heat program offers us an excellent opportunity to reach out to the young people in our community in a non-traditional manner and reinforce a positive message. There are a lot of good things in drag racing that we want to show our kids. You can't be stupid and race. With today's technology, it's not just point and go - you have to have an education and skills to succeed. You have to be safe, have the proper equipment, and make the right decisions. This is a great partnership - especially for the kids!"