TROY, Mich., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- From January 21-24, 1999, one hundred fifty-three American children will get the chance of a lifetime as they compete for $10,000 college scholarships and National Championship titles at the 1999 Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs National Championship in Orlando, Florida. A number of nationally-known celebrities, including Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton, Doug Flutie from the Buffalo Bills, actress Jaclyn Smith and supermodel Kathy Ireland, as well as Kmart Chairman and CEO Floyd Hall, will be on hand to support these children's commitment to live a drug-free life.
The competitors, ages 7 to 12, will race against the clock as they maneuver a safety-modified lawn tractor through a 75' x 185' specially designed mini-speedway, hugging hairpin turns, beating barriers and hurdling over bridges and under tunnels. A total of $75,000 in scholarships will be awarded during the National Championship.
Ready, Set, Go!
Semi-final racing in three age divisions (7-8, 9-10, 11-12) begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 22, 1999. Racers will compete in a semi-final race for a qualifying position in the Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs National Championship races, which will take place on the next day. The top ten racers in each age group will compete in the final championship races.
Semi-final racing for the following age groups will be held at these Orlando-area Kmart stores:
* 7-8 year olds 2211 Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway Kissimmee
* 9-10 year olds 4140 Town Center Boulevard Orlando
* 11-12 year olds 7285 South Orange Blossom Trail Orlando
The Championship races will be held on Saturday morning beginning at 9 a.m. at the Kmart store located at 4140 Town Center Boulevard in Orlando. The winners of the Championship races take home the national titles and $10,000 college scholarships. Racers with second through fifth-place finishes also will be awarded scholarship money.
Following the Championship races, Kmart will host an exclusive awards banquet to celebrate the final standings and to honor all the drug-free racers and their supportive parents. The awards banquet will be held at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Mary Lou Retton will emcee the show, recognizing the competitors and helping other celebrity guests award the college scholarships and trophies.
The Third Annual Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs National Championship is the culmination of a unique nationwide racing tour that reached more than 400,000 children from May through November, 1998, with an anti-drug message.
Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs, through The Kmart Family Foundation, donated $2 million in 1998 to drug prevention charities nationwide, such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America), M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and RAD (Race Against Drugs). The Kmart Family Foundation, founded by Kmart Corporation in 1996, is a nonprofit organization created to help educate and raise funds for local and national drug prevention charities.