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Malcolm Smith Motorsports / Sunstar Racing For Life Offroad Team
Sets Fundraising Record!
Las Vegas, Nevada. January 12, 2008.  The auctioneer yelled "SOLD!" and
the Julia Lynn II finished its yearlong journey!  Raising $10,000 on Friday was
just the start.  The next day, the vintage 1967 Husqvarna went on the block at
the Mid America Auction held at the South Point Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.  
The bike autographed by dozens of the legends of offroad went for $15,500.  
Mission accomplished.  

But it was not that simple.  The weekend started for the Racing For Life Team
early Thursday morning when we loaded up our truck with the two bikes and
headed east along Interstate 15, arriving around 10 AM.  After meeting Ron
Christensen, the owner of Mid America Auction, the world's largest vintage
motorcycle auction, we proceeded to set up a special display featuring the two
bikes.  Ron went the "extra mile", providing tables, electricity and a TV
monitor/DVD player.  We played the Pinned TV special for the crowds
throughout the day, answering questions about the bikes to prospective buyers.

That evening . . .

Mid America held a special fundraiser dinner for another charity that evening,
followed by a live auction of the first 75 vehicles.  The auctioneer was right out
of the text book definition -- high energy, staccato delivery, fast paced --
everything you would expect at a world class auction.

We were invited to speak after dinner to explain our mission to raise money for
Malcolm Smith and his kids, the Scleroderma Foundation and The Lance
Armstrong Foundation.  With nearly 2,000 people in the audience, it was quite
an experience sharing the needs of the children with everyone.
1967 Husqvarna 360.
Exact replica of the motorcycle raced by Malcolm Smith and JN Roberts to
victory in 1967.  Autographed by the legends of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
 Auctioned off with the proceeds to the RFL Charities in January 2008.
The Julia Lynn II.
This year's race bike, a TC 510 Husqvarna.  Rridden by Malcolm Smith
and JN Roberts.  Auctioned off with the proceeds to the RFL Charities.

The next morning . . .

Up bright and early, we met Malcolm Smith at McCarron Airport just after 7AM.  
Arriving at the casino, we prepared for the auction fun to start around 9 AM.  
Malcolm and Jim were invited on stage to promote Malcolm's Kids.  We were
warmly greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.  Just before the main auction started,
several posters and memorabilia were auctioned off with the proceeds to
charity.  Much to our surprise, Ron donated 50% to Malcolm Smith and the kids.
 We were overwhelmed with the gesture.

One PM rolled around and we were nervous.  We decided to let the bikes go at
NO RESERVE.  The 1967 Husky went first.  Starting out slow, the auction
picked up steam, but died, resulting in a winning bid of $11,000, well below
expectations.  Disappointed, we moved on to the Julia Lynn II.  A repeat of the
last bid process, up and down, and the winning bid fetched $7,500.  Not bad for
a used Husky, but below expectations.
Time to Scramble . . .

We had to get over our disappointment fast and figure out how to recover.  We did.  First we approached the winning bidder of the Julia Lynn II,
Ron Cochran.  We offered him the helmet, jersey and boots used by Jim Filanc to cross the finish line.  After a brief negotiation, he purchased all
three, plus a Baja 1000 poster and display poster for $2,500.  Total money raised = $10,000!  Now we're talking . . . Next we approached Ron
Christensen to help out.  Ron is a first class man who really jumped in to help out Racing For LIfe, Malcolm Smith and the El Oasis Orphans.  
Thankyou, Ron!  Ron introduced us to Jeff Ray, Executive Director of the Barber Motorsports Museum.  Jeff had targeted the 1967 Husky for
purchase and display at the world famous Barber Museum.  THough it would be a great home for the bike, Jeff agreed to donate the bike back, run
it torough auction as long as he recovered the Barber investment in the bike.  With all parties in agreement, the bike went back on the block the
next day.  

A Little Breather

That evening we decided to see Las Vegas.  Daniel Ixcot had never been to Las
Vegas . . . and we had no choice but to show him the neon lights of The Strip.  
So that evening we took off, cruised The Strip.  Nothing like El Oasis.  A night to
remember.  We decided to check out The Venetian, parked our car, walked
inside and were dazzled by the frescoes, the art work, the marble, everything
about this palace.  The canals were so realistic with the lighting and day sky
painted in the ceiling.  We thought it was mid-day.  After  a few hours of Vegas,
we were ready to turn in and prepare for Saturday.

Recovery Complete!

Early the next morning, Ron announced what had happened to the building
crowd and to look for the 1967 Husky to run once again through the auction
started a bidding war.  Up the price climbed, passing the old mark of $11,000.  The crowd roared its approval.  Up it went, $12K, $13K, $14K,
$15K . . .  SOLD SOLD SOLD! $15,500.  John Sawazhki was the winner!  Later he regretted not bidding higher the previous time through.  But in
hindsight, the real winners were Malcolm's kids as an extra $4,500 was raised, and the crowd got to enjoy the moment one more time!

TIme to Relax

Now the pressure was off.  We met our goal.  The net money raised through the auction was a cool $20,000!  We were enjoying the moment.  
High fives.  We met with Ron and repeatedly thanked him and Mid America for their generosity and support.  After a few photos with John, Ron
and the auctioneer, we packed up and headed home.  Malcolm Smith bought three bikes at the auction.  We packed them in our truck as a
courtesy to this great man, and said goodbye to South Point and Mid America.  Wait 'til next year!!!