By Derek Liebig
When Frank Hoard Jr. climbs into his race car later this month at Lebanon Valley Speedway, he will do so with a new source of inspiration.
But it won’t be the thrill of victory or personal glory motoring him around the track. Instead, Hoard’s inspiration will come from a desire to help those diagnosed with cancer.
Hoard is “Racing to Fight Cancer” and to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society and the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of the Southwest Region (formerly the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, RAVNAH).
Hoard’s race team, which includes his wife Christine and their children Marissa, Scott and Frank III, have established a “Gofundme” page and are seeking to raise $5,000 for the two organizations.
“I’m just trying to do my part,” said Hoard, who lives in North Granville and owns Hoard’s Car Care in Manchester, Vt.
Hoard was born into a racing family. His father, Frank Sr., first got involved with racing in 1960 and continues to be today.
Hoard has been racing competitively for years and has passed the enthusiasm for the sports to his sons. Frank III races at Malta (under the banner of domestic violence) and his other son, Kyle, is in the process of building a car to race in the street stock division at Malta.
But racing isn’t the only thing that runs in the family.
“I’ve always had cancer in my family,” Hoard said. “I’ve lost some family members over the years.”
Earlier this winter, a close friend who attended high school with Hoard in Manchester came by the shop to have some work done and the two struck up a conversation.
The two, who have remained in touch, talked about old times and racing. His friend even agreed to donate the money for a new seat and head and neck restraint for Hoard’s car.
During the conversation, however, his friend revealed he was sick.
“He said he has terminal cancer,” Hoard said. “It really hit home. We’re about the same age. I was just like, ‘holy cow, that’s way too soon.’”
Kyle and Christine, who Hoard introduced to his friend, were also affected by the revelation.
“My youngest son was more affected than me; he said he feels terrible,” Hoard said.
Hoard asked if there was anything he could. He also offered to make him a sponsor for his donation toward the equipment.
“He said he didn’t want anything,” Hoard said. “He just asked that we set up something to help a local charity.”
So the family settled on the American Cancer Society and the VNA, where Christine works as development director.
“We’re a very community-orientated family and the kids grew up with a mom who is a fundraiser so they locked onto the challenge,” Christine said.
Frank had his car emblazoned with American Cancer Society and VNA and Hospice’s logos as well as ribbon with the phrase “Racing to Fight Cancer.” Kyle’s car, when complete, will have the same logos.
The family is collecting donations on its Gofundme page and plan to host fundraisers during the course of the season, as well as attend local car shows, including the Relay for Life on June 7.
The money they collect will be donated to the two organizations.
“I figured if I can help only one person, that would be a major thing,” Hoard said.
To learn more, or to donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/l9hh2k.