‘Gentlemen’ race for a cause for Soroptimist International

NHRA driver Trevor Larkin leads the pack in a race Sunday evening to raise money for Soroptimist International at MB2 Raceway in Sylmar. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Teammates and family members cheered as go-karts sped by for Soroptimist International of Valencia’s Gentlemen for a Cause fundraiser at MB2 Raceway Indoor Kart Racing Center in Sylmar on Sunday.

Two racers from 10 teams put their helmets on and manuerved past one another. Each team consisted of business owners or employees, all of which had a particular cause they also were raising money for. Soroptimist International’s main fundraising efforts will go toward two of their programs which help women and high school girls, Live Your Dream and Dream It Be It.

This race will lead to Soroptimist International’s main event at Wolf Creek Brewery on March 3, which will feature a cornhole tournament and live auction with gift baskets.

“The past ‘Gentlemens’ have been at the country club, at a higher price point because you are paying for the ambience, it’s very nice, you dress up, it’s a lot of fun,” said Nicole Marr, Soroptimist International’s vice president. “But most of us have kids, we have family members that would like to support somehow. So we thought let’s have some sort of a team competition.”

Marr’s team, Team Blue Line, was made up of Los Angeles Police Department officers with the goal of raising money for the Domestic Violence Shelter of Santa Clarita.

Nearby, Chrissy Rescigno looked over Team Alumni as its team manager. Members consisted of gentlemen who participated in past Gentlemen for a Cause fundraisers and wanted to make a return, this time raising money for Single Mothers Outreach.

“Someone was saying ‘Well, if you’re light, the cars move easier,’” she said. “I’m like, ‘I don’t think so, I think you have to be aggressive too,’ I don’t know.”

National Hot Rod Association drag racer Trevor Larkin was one of the other racers. He represented Team Fourscore, a prior winner at the last fundraiser, Trivia with Budds. After growing up in Santa Clarita, Larkin said it was right to give back to a growing community.

Though the cars were obviously different, the competition to win was just the same, he said.

“It’s cool to see business owners and people in real estate and fitness all come together for the same cause,” he said. “People you grow up with, they’re in the same boat. Growing up here also, any time you can give back and lend your name and attendance through a cause is a win for everybody.”

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