ShareThis Page

New Alexandria Lions Club Demolition Derbies set for summer in expanded arena

| Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Chuck Sheffler isn't sure why people like the demolition derbies hosted by the New Alexandria Lions Club, but he knows scores of people do.

“They have favorite drivers. They like the mud. They like seeing cars crash,” said the club member who watches all of the action from the grandstand as the announcer. “It's an all-around family event.”

On Friday, drivers will start their engines for the first of eight derbies throughout the summer. The club has been hosting the event since the early 1970s

The arena on Lions Club Road near the intersections of routes 119 and 22 can hold about 3,000 people, thanks to new aluminum bleachers, Sheffler said.

After a fall event that raised $13,000, plus a donation from a Pittsburgh contractor, the Lions Club replaced the wooden bleachers and added 10 rows to accommodate 500 more people, he said.

About 70 to 80 vehicles in different classes participate at each event. Contestants come from throughout the tri-state area and as far away as Virginia, Sheffler said.

Each vehicle is inspected beforehand to ensure safety, checking for modifications to the cars, such as bracing bars, relocated gas tanks, bolted hoods and trunks, he said.

The derbies benefit local charities, collecting about $55,000 to donate to more than 40 organizations, even after awarding drivers' prize money, he said.

This is the third year the New Alexandria Lions Club will partner with the American Cancer Society for an event, set for May 30.

Drivers decorate their cars, and raffles are held alongside tables offering educational information about cancer awareness, he said.

Jim Bennett acts as derby chairman for the Lions Club. Tom Davis and Wally Shick are co-directors of competition. “We're very proud of what we do,” Sheffler said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.