Clem’s Sign raises $23K for Buddy Pack Program

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

After releasing a series of videos on Facebook for Clem Sign’s second annual Buddy Pack Program helmet raffle from November 2020 to December 2020, the total contributions raised resulted in $23,120.

On Tuesday morning, Jan. 5, Mark Clemons (left), from Clem’s Sign in Marshall, handed a $23,120 check to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri’s Regional Coordinator Manager Darren White (right) to help support the Buddy Pack Program in Saline County.
Danielle Linton-Hatfield/Democrat-News

During December 2019, Clem’s Sign, in Marshall, held a raffle for a $1,500 racing helmet in hopes to donate $2,000 worth of proceeds to Saline County’s Buddy Pack Program. Mark Clemons, from Clem’s Sign, posted a series of videos to try and get donations for local kids who were in need. At that time, $3,130 was raised and given to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri’s Regional Coordinator Manager Darren White to help support the Buddy Pack Program in Saline County.

Compared the previous year, Clemons stated he did not know what to expect and was surprised when the raffle was a huge success.

“I thought with COVID that it really wasn’t going to work out really well,” Clemons said. “But I told my wife and my mom … the night before we did it, if it raises enough to feed one kid, it was worth doing. Last year we just did a helmet raffle and this year we raffled off a helmet and a paint job, a custom suit — K1 race suit — and then we raffled off a chance to win $500. So instead of doing one raffle or like one winning, we did a chance to win three.”

He added the racing community really stepped up this year.

White expressed he couldn’t agree more and was also surprised about the fundraiser for the Buddy Pack Program’s end result.

“We, like Mark said, had no idea with COVID and everything and collecting $3,000 last year jumping … to $20,000-plus, I mean who would have thought,” he noted.

White explained roughly there are 280 kids in Saline County who are a part of the Buddy Pack Program. With the money raised from Clemons’ raffle, this will help feed 92 to almost 100 of those kids.

“ … So yeah, I’m beyond excited,” Clemons said. “ … Luckily one of my best friends, Brian Brown — he’s a professional race car driver — he kind of blew it up on Twitter and then it just kind of snowballed effect into a bunch of racers kind of getting together and donating a bunch of money and we raised $23,000 instead of $3,000.”

On Tuesday morning, Jan. 5, Mark Clemons (left), from Clem’s Sign in Marshall, handed a $23,120 ($23,020 before additional donation) check to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri’s Regional Coordinator Manager Darren White (right) to help support the Buddy Pack Program in Saline County.
Danielle Linton-Hatfield/Democrat-News

Additionally, for the raffle, Clemons mentioned how they decided to have three winners instead of one.

“So how we got three winners this year was, my raffle originally started off … we picked one winner and the winner gets to pick one of the three items,” he explained. “Well, Bell Helmets donated the helmet for free, then K1 RaceGear donated a set of race gloves and then a custom suit for free and they gave us $500.”

Clemons stated while the first winner was given the $500, the second winner decided to donate their prize by trying to look for a young racer in need of a suit.

“The second place winner is Gary Scelzi — he’s a hall of famer drag racer — really, really nice guy,” Clemons said. “He ended up getting the suit, but he is going to donate the suit back to a kid in need. So we’re in the process of finding a young kid that is a racer that’s parents could use the support. We’re going to give them the suit. Then the third place winner actually was wanting the helmet for his son. So it goes to a kid, as well. It all worked out really perfect, like it couldn’t have worked out any better really.”

Lastly, Clem’s Sign had it to where if some liked and shared the original video on Clem’s Sign Facebook page, then the selected winner would receive $100. Clemons said the winner of the $100 actually donated the money back to the Buddy Pack Program. As a result, this caused the donations to increase from $23,020 to $23,120.

“I’m just kind of blessed with what we got,” he continued. “I’m really happy with what we raised this year. If we can do it next year that’s great, but if we can’t, like this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity … for Darren and I. So I want to make sure that we enjoy and really feel how lucky we are for what we raised.”

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