Weekend of drag boat racing raises money for fire departments
Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The banks of the Flint River at the Earle May Boat Basin were lined with spectators this weekend for the sixth annual Flint River Showdown Drag Boat Race.
Held the second weekend in September every year, the high-intensity races consistently draw a good crowd that contribute to an even better cause.
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All proceeds go toward the Decatur County Firefighters Association, which then distributes the money to all the local volunteer firefighter departments: Attapulgus, Brinson, Climax, Fowlstown, Mt. Pleasant, Kendrick, Blackjack and Recovery. The fire departments use the money to purchase new equipment every year.
“Everybody knows we don’t get a whole lot,” said Frank Kay, president of the DCFA and captain of the Blackjack department. “We get funding from the county, but it’s never enough. It’s important to do fundraisers to keep everybody safe and for our volunteers to stay up to date on gear and equipment.”
This year’s event was dubbed the Bainbridge Southern Nationals after organizers from last year decided to test a name change to draw a bigger crowd, although the spectator numbers were down and money collected didn’t meet the organizers’ expectations.
Kay didn’t yet have a number for the amount of money raised this year, but he was happy overall with how the event turned out, he said.
Food vendors were set up throughout the boat basin, and spectators had tents, lawn chairs and coolers set up to relax, refresh and enjoy the action.
The Outboard Drag Boating Association handled the race officiating and payouts.