$12,000 raised by Willowbank drag racing community for Anita Board
12 January 2018
When the drag racing community was rocked by the passing of eight year old West Australian Junior Dragster racer Anita Board, the Willowbank Raceway board wanted to honour her memory in a special way. Working together with the Raceway staff and the broader Willowbank Raceway community, a plan was put in place to honour Anita’s memory and to help out her family.
Willowbank Raceway management decided to donate proceeds from spectator entry at the 400 Thunder Sportsman event on November 25, 2017 to the Board family, as well as accepting donations from racers and sponsors who wanted to contribute on the day.
The event also included a moving memorial of current Junior Dragster racers, Raceway officials and members of the broader racing group who formed a guard of honour as Top Fuel racer Kelly Bettes returned to the seat of a Junior Dragster to make a slow pass down the track.
The day's efforts raised over $12,000 for the Board family to help them through this incredibly tough time in their lives.
Willowbank Raceway President Tony Wedlock said that it was important to come together in a time like this to provide support to the Board Family.
"In some small way we all hope that our efforts to honour Anita go some way to easing the pain for the Board family," he said. "Additionally, I want to personally thank everyone who made it possible to raise the funds for her family.
“Drag racing has an extremely close knit community and to lose one of our own, especially someone so young and enthusiastic about racing as Anita, was a tragedy,” he said.
“Queensland's drag racers and Willowbank Raceway would like the Board family to know we are there for them always.”
The Board family were welcomed to Willowbank over the weekend as part of the New Years Thunder event, where they received a VIP experience with Lamattina Top Fuel Racing, who were running a 'My Little Anita' livery in dedication to Anita's love for My Little Pony character Rainbow Dash.
Willowbank Raceway’s Operations Manager Harry Rowsell had the pleasure of hosting the Board Family at the recent New Year’s Thunder event at the venue.
“The visit was made possible by way of the generous support of Lamattina Top Fuel Racing and Rapisarda Autosport International,” Rowsell said. “The family got to go behind the scenes of a pro drag racing team and be out on the start line for the racing.
“I hope this experience was enjoyed by the whole family, especially Anita's sister Zara – a keen Junior Dragster racer herself. I know she got to spend some quality time with Lamattina Top Fuel Racing driver Kelly Bettes who has now reached the top levels of the sport after beginning in Junior Dragsters.”
Bettes thanked the Board family for attending New Years Thunder and being a part of the special atmosphere.
“It was an absolute pleasure to have (the Board) family around,” she said. “I cannot express how much happiness it brought to have Zara get in and amongst it, getting high fives in the tow car after each run, chats on our way to the staging lanes and even her passing my gear as I got ready.
“She is one tough little cookie and I look forward to keeping up with her future racing endeavours.”
For those who would like to make further donations to the Board family, they can do so on behalf of the West Coast Junior Dragster Association (BSB: 306988 Account: 0192356).