Sunshine and warm temperatures made the annual Mini-500 race fun for all in the Home’s front circle on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The smells of popcorn, lemonade, and sunblock mixed with the sweet smells of Spring from the gardens and mown grass – and the passing engine smells of a replica 1925 Miller Sprint Car. The car, handcrafted by Bob Van Note, husband of Guild member Mary Ann Van Note, was a show-stopper and even more fun for those who were slender enough to climb aboard. As Mother Mary Vincent circled the “track” in the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, crisply driven by Sr. Rosemarie, excitement mounted and the race began. Thank you to John Crisp who garnered the car for our use!
Then, the wide-ranging sounds took over. Jeannine Hong, Volunteer and musician, chose drivin’ rock and country music to get the crowd bouncing. The more-than-able race announcer (Myra Albrecht, Medical Secretary), introduced racers and provided on-the-spot play-by-play commentary as the action unfolded. Mayor Gregory Ballard, already planning to return for the ’13 Mini, shared observations and well wishes with the crowd, before walking as the “eyes” for Resident Peggy Karress at her request. And no one can deny the presence of Doug Hardwick, President of the Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers, the 50-year bagpipe tradition at the Indy 500. And no one wanted to!
Teams combined Residents, employees, volunteers, and family members into a bubbling stew of race talent. The race was run as a relay. The first wave was made up of the elbows and knees of the race walkers. The second wave was pace walkers, followed by the walkers-with-walkers, then the wheelchair rebels, and a rap up from the motorized division on richly colored scooters. No one predicted the winning team, as advantage moved from one to another and to another as the race progressed.
Team 31 took first-place in the winners’ circle, and ribbons and prizes were shared. All in all, a good day at the races.
Top left: John Van Note, builder of the replica 1925 Miller Sprint racing car, and husband of Mary Ann Van Note, St. Augustine’s Guild member.
Top right: Volunteer Jeannine Hong kept the fans rockin’ with music from Kate Smith to country.
Middle right: Employees Christine Lopez-Roque and Paula Seck treat racers and visitors with ice-cold lemonade.
Bottom: Four friendly competitors in checkered-flag colors. L-R, Residents Jackie Cooper, Mary Jo Huntington, Adele Shultz, Pat Ittenbach