AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Burnouts for Kids is an event put on by the Bring it Back Meets Organization at the Carolina Dragway in Aiken.
In 2021, they raised around $15,000. In 2022, more than $24,000.
“The focus really goes towards a lot of the local sponsors, local businesses, private donors,” said Nate Prater, the founder of Burnouts for Kids from Bring it Back Meets. “If it wasn’t for those guys, we really wouldn’t have been able to bring in the amount of money that we did for the hospitals.”
Prater was in and out of hospitals during his childhood, making this cause very personal to him.
“It’s an awesome feeling to be able to go in and drop off that amount of toys knowing that some kid that’s laying in a hospital bed for whatever reason the case may be,” he said. “Knowing that even if it’s just a split second, they’re going to get a little bit of joy in a really bad situation – altogether, that’s really what we do it for.”
The toys went to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital.
One of the event’s judges was in a drag racing accident in 2015 and air-lifted to the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital. He remembers many pediatric patients had to spend their holidays there.
“I thought that one way to give back would be to provide Christmas to those kids to take a little bit of the financial burden off the families that were there,” said Lyle Barnett, a drag racer, burn survivor and participant in fundraisers for the hospital. “I just want to do my best every year to try to give back, and show them a small token of my appreciation because they’re a hundred percent why I’m here today.”
And surgeons at the hospital think the best part, is seeing spirits lifted.
“While [it is] a potentially traumatic event for a child, any way we can use our large team that we have brought together to care for this population, and give them a little joy like a gift – best part of anybody’s day,” said Dr. Shawn Fagan, the Chief Medical Officer for the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America, and a surgeon at the JMS Burn Center at Doctor’s Hospital.
The next Burnouts for Kids should be later this year at Carolina Dragway. The organizers are also having races on May 4th, 5th, and 6th to scout potential sponsors.
Click here for dates and times.