Go-kart racing event raises money for Indiana Special Olympics a - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Go-kart racing event raises money for Indiana Special Olympics athletes

Officers raced go-karts at Michiana Raceway Park to raise money Officers raced go-karts at Michiana Raceway Park to raise money
A number of Michiana police offers were driving with a heavy foot on Sunday, but the officers weren't in their police vehicles. Instead, the officers were driving go-karts.

Officers from Mishawaka, New Carlisle, South Bend and St. Joseph County gathered at the Michiana Speedway Park.
They participated in the second annual Beat the Heat event. It's a go-kart race that raises money for Special Olympics Indiana. The event is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The money will help St. Joseph County Special Olympic Athletes go to the Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games.

The officers say they enjoy themselves while raising the money.
"It's an absolute blast. Everybody out here just absolutely loves running around on the go-kart track," Lieutenant Matt Blank of the St. Joseph County Police said.

Last's year race raised over $14,500. That was the highest amount raised in a police-led event for Special Olympics Indiana. "We definitely want to highlight our Special Olympic Athletes and show how much we appreciate the fact that they represent us at the state games every year," Blank said.

A number of the St. Joseph athletes were at the event on Sunday. One of the Special Olympics athletes there who be competing at the summer games was Karen Sue Sostack. "This is my first time and I'm really excited about watching everything," she said.

This year's Beat the Heat was expected to raise around $20,000. "I like that idea too. The money helps us go to state," Sostack said.

The officers all say raising money was the most important part of the event, but that didn't mean the competitive edge was gone."I mean these aren't your average go-karts that you see at the amusement park or something like that. These are professional go-karts. They definitely scoot around the track pretty quick," Blank said.

Kevin Mangels of the St. Joseph County Police was racing for the second time in the event. He says officers can do things in the go-kart that they wouldn't do in their squad cars. "[It's] a lot safer out here being able to do it on a safe track. You don't want to see anyone driving like that out on the road," Mangels said.

The 2014 Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games runs June 6-8 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

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