ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In just a few weeks, over two dozen sheriffs from across the region will come together to take part in a friendly racecar competition.
This is the second year of the ‘Sheriff’s Showdown’ event, which raises money to help send kids to summer camp at Keuka Lake.
The competition started a couple of years ago between Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter and Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty. Now, more than 25 sheriffs are joining the fun.
“We raise funds for the New York State Sheriffs Institute, they have a summer camp down at Keuka Lake and we were able to raise some funds and help kids go camping,” Baxter said.
While it sounds exciting, it also takes some practice to hop behind the wheel of a race car. Baxter said the sheriffs receive coaching by professional drivers before hitting the track.
“We understand our weaknesses here and we’re going to be with professional drivers. They will coach us for an hour-long class ahead of time,” Baxter said. “Then out into track, you have a co-pilot with you — a professional driver — to make sure you don’t go overboard the on the race part of it.”
The money raised through the race goes towards the New York State Sheriffs’ Institute & Summer Camp. The camp is designed to house disadvantaged youth that is identified through various county resources.
“Whether it be to financial difficulties or family dynamics, referrals are made for those kids that would benefit from some sort of a summer camp program,” Wayne County Sheriff Robert Milby said. “It’s a truly amazing program because just imagine watching a kid for the first time, take a dip into a lake or learn how to sail, sit around a campfire and sing songs.”
Milby said the week-long program takes kids out of their typical settings and allows them to relax and have fun at Keuka Lake.
“They make friends and a lot of those friends are police officers, so this has long-lasting effects on youth,” Milby said.
Last year, the ‘Sheriff’s Showdown’ event raised over $11,000 for children at the camp. This year, they hope to raise even more.
“We definitely need this as a fundraiser and so the Sheriff’s Showdown has a very prolific Facebook page. You can go on Sheriff Showdown, just look it up on Facebook, you’ll see all those opportunities to sponsor,” Baxter said.
The ‘Sheriff’s Showdown 2’ has free admission. There is also an opportunity for people to race in their own cars with a co-pilot.
The event takes place on October 13 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Watkins Glen International. You can learn more by clicking here.