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Off-road group fulfills the need for speed

Tony Scott and one of the Wish Ride participants last month.

Forget Disneyland. The greatest wish for some southern Nevada kids who have life-threatening illnesses is to go off-roading at top speed in the desert in a big truck.

Tony Scott of Scott Racing likes to make those dreams come true. Scott works at R + R Hitches in Kingman. He's also a member of the Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts, a group of tri-state residents who enjoy racing their dune buggies and trucks in the southern Nevada desert near Laughlin.

The organization recently partnered with the southern Nevada branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to provide two full days of off-roading adventure for around 50 kids. The Laughlin Chamber of Commerce also got in on the fun and provided rooms, food and transportation to the track for the families.

"This was a super fun event for us. The kids and families had a really great time," said Shelly Batten, development and special events manager for Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada. The addition of the hotel rooms, food and transportation made things even better, she said.

"We try to make it an annual event," Scott said. "It takes quite a bit of doing, but it's well worth it."

Scott's off-road racing vehicle of choice is an unlimited class trophy truck. But all sorts of off-road vehicles come out for the Make-A-Wish event.

"We roll up to the start line, somebody puts the kid in the truck, straps them in and helps put their helmet on and off we go over the jumps and bumps," he said. "I try to take them as fast as they want to go."

The course is five miles of hills, sand, dirt and washes just outside of Laughlin.

"The kids love it," Scott said. "I had a little girl one year that giggled the whole time."

"It's hard to live with one of these diseases. These kids are so lucky to be alive," he said. "If you don't have tears in your eyes by the end of the day, there's something wrong with you. We even have kids in wheelchairs that come."

Around 25 racers with their vehicles showed up to participate in this year's event.

"I think I drove a hundred miles that day and burned about $600 worth of fuel, but it's all worth it," Scott said. "It's all good."


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