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Zippy's Charity Ride Returns to Old Forge, New York
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The Ole Barn in Inlet, New York will be the gathering place for the Third Annual Zippy’s Crusade for Kids charity snowmobile ride January 21 and 22. Zippy’s Crusade for Kids was founded in 2003, by Nextel Cup Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli, and his wife Nan, an Old Forge native and SUNY Oswego graduate.

The Mission Statement for Zippy’s Crusade for Kids is to raise money for kids and families in need. The funds are then dispersed mainly to charities that primarily focus on sick, or terminally ill or disabled youngsters. The Crusade has made donations to many children’s charities in the past two years including The Victory Junction Gang Camp, The Center of Cancer and Blood Disorders, Fayetteville Field of Hope, Hospice, Wheeling and Dealing for Zachary Rufa, as well as helping out with individual families in need.

The weekend’s festivities start Friday January 21 with a get together at the Ole barn at 5pm. Heavy Hors d’oeuvers will be on hand, and schedules and maps of the ride will be handed out. Music and an autograph session with participants will take place as the night proceeds.

Everyone gathers back at the Ole Barn bright and early Saturday the 22nd for the ride. A full breakfast will be served at 8am, before the riders head off for the start of the snowmobile ride in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. Break time will come at approximately noon, as groups stop at Adirondack Woodcraft Camp for lunch. After lunch, it’s back to the trails for the remainder of the snowmobile ride.

The teams then head back to the Ole Barn for a full night of activities. Dinner will be served around 6pm, followed by entertainment and a silent auction and raffles will proceed, and round out the jam packed two days of fun and fund raising.

Among the participants in Charity Ride 2005 will be founder of the Crusade 2002 Nextel Cup Championship Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli. 2002 Nextel Cup Champion driver of the Home Depot #20 on the Nextel Cup series Tony Stewart, has signed on as a rider for this year. Stewart and Zipadelli have the longest tenure together in the Nextel Cup garage of all the driver/crew chief combinations. They have been together since day one at Daytona of their rookie season back in 1999, and enjoyed immediate success.

Central New York favorite and Busch Grand National top driver “Magic Shoes” Mike McLaughlin returns for his third year working side by side with his long time friend Zipadelli for the event. Joe Gibbs Racing team manager Jimmy Makar, another championship winning crew chief at the top level of stock car racing, comes back again for another run at the Adirondack trails.

Rising star Jamie McMurray, driver of the Texaco/Havoline #42 from Chip Ganassi Racing will make his first ever trip to Central New York for the Charity Ride. McMurray set a modern era the record by winning a Winston Cup race in only his second start. He took the checkered flag at the Lowes Motor Speedway in October 2002. he was also named Winston Cup Rookie of the Year in 2003.

Matt Yocum, popular racing TV analyst is also among the scheduled riders. New England native Frankie Stoddard, a 14 time winning crew chief on the Nextel Cup series, comes back to the northeast for the event. Scott Diehl, Scott Zipadelli, “Scooter” Crowell, Jarrad Egert and Steve Post also plan to be on hand to ride and support the effort.

The Ride has been a sell out the first two years of the event, and organizers recommend getting your tickets early, as another sell out in anticipated. Cost of the ride is $250 (tax deductable), and includes the entire two day package, including the ride ticket, Friday night get together, Saturday breakfast, ride, lunch, then dinner, auction and entertainment. It promises to be a memorable event, which is a great way to start off the 2005 year. Tickets can be obtained at gregzipadelli.com, and click on the “Purchase Ride Tickets” icon, and follow the information available

Sponsorships are also available for the weekend. Silver, Gold, Platinum and Star Corporate sponsorships are available. Sponsorships are available by e-mail at nanette@gregzipadelli.com.

Snowmobiling has long been a favorite winter time activity of the Central New York community. Come on out and combine a very worthwhile event with a good time with Zippy’s Crusade for Kids, January 21 and 22. Get your tickets now as space is limited, and a sell out is once again anticipated.
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