Bowling Tournament a Great Success!!

Thank you to everyone that made our 1st ever (now Annual) bowling tournament a great success! We had so much fun and raised an amazing amount of money for local children in need!

We can not thank you all enough, but know that every little bit makes a huge difference in someone’s life! Our work will never be complete and we hope you all stick by us as we continue!

Corporate Sponsors: Murphy’s Logging, Hammett Motors, Specialty Products, Plyler Entry Systems, Bonnell’s Collision Center & Auto Glass
Bar Sponsor: Zimmer’s Service ULMS Racing Series
Shirt, Signs & Trophy Sponsor: Phantom Signs and Graphics

Winning Prize Sponsors: Eriez Speedway, Riverside Brewing Company, The Waterford Hotel, Country Fair , & TGI Fridays (Erie)

Everyone that donated a gift auction item! Everyone that bowled on a team! Everyone that came to support even if not bowling! Everyone that donated to the Pie in Face contest! To our Original Pie in Face contestants, Dave Hess & Max Blair and to our additional guys – Brandon Groters, Steve Kania & Mike Wonderling – ALL FOR BEING AMAZING SPORTS!

Our 50/50 Winner – Ken Zimmer & our final Strike Fund Winner T.J. Mitchell – both for donating portions of their winnings back to ARK!

Eastway Lanes – We came, we made a mess, we tried to help clean -we thank you all so so so much for your help and hospitality! We hope you don’t hate us for the whipped cream mess (bigger tarps were needed, which for that we were unprepared) and we hope you’d consider us back in the future! (with more preparation of course)

And of course, the ARK Board and volunteers that had some kind of job or duty yesterday that made the entire day possible!!! Board Member Matt Patterson approached the board with this idea and was given the green light to run with it! With his ideas and the organization of the board members around him, we had a very successful 1st Bowling Tournament and we will definitely plan another!! 🧡🎳🖤


Happy New Year! Changes to our Board!

Happy New Year! The year 2020 starts a new decade for all and some changes for our board!

First & foremost, thank you to EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has supported our charity in one way or another! Without you, we could not give anywhere close to what we give to our local charity partners, including, but not limited to, all of our charity & event sponsors, monetary & item donators, and those of you, so many of you, that have supported one, many, or all of our events throughout the years! With so much wrong in the world, we are getting this right and it feels amazing giving back and helping children! We have some plans this year, to get more information out to you all about what your money is doing for these charities! If you missed the announcement in November, Auto Racers for Kids Charity donated $45,000 to 5 charities this year, toppling our grand total of donations since 2008 at over $400,000!!! Those 5 charities were the Northwest PA Autism Society, where ark is the title sponsor of the Social Lego Club, along with Erie Dawn, The 2nd Harvest Food Bank backpack program, Bethesda Trinity Center & EUMA – The Refuge. There is already a little bit about each of them on our site, but stay tuned as we hope to build on that!

Our longstanding board president, Tom Woolslayer, has made the personal decision to step down as president. Tom spent many years leading Auto Racers for Kids and has built many great relationships around the community benefiting ARK. He does however remain with the board, and is working one on one to help transition our new board president in to her role. Tom will still be seen at all the events, and he has taken on a new role with ARK as he is our new treasurer.

Jill DiMattio, treasurer, has made the decision to end her time with ARK at the conclusion of 2019. Jill has done tremendous work for us, handling all of the banking, taxes, licensing, & beyond over her years on the ARK board. Jill was with us from the beginning and her presence will be greatly missed, but we wish her well in all of her future endeavors!

With that being said, we’d like to welcome Jill Blair into the role of Auto Racers for Kids President. Jill is already transitioning very well into her new role and we know she will continue the great work of ARK! Jill joined Auto Racers just this past year, but she has brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise & connections with her. She is a go-getter and with Tom’s help, we believe all will go great!

Laurie Woolslayer, board secretary has stepped down. Laurie still remains with the charity, but she felt her time as secretary has expired. She is a very busy lady and felt the board needed someone who could give more time to the role. With that, we welcome 2 year board member, Nikki Layton, into the secretary role. Nikki will do great work in the role of the secretary and keep us all organized & up to date on needed information. She already updates the website regulary, is one of the few members that handles the social media and she monitors our charity email account.

We also would like to welcome new members, Matt Patterson & Darlene Kerstetter whom both joined the board in the fall of 2019. Matt joined with the bowling tournament idea and has run with it! Thank you Matt, we look forward to this new event!

As you can see, there are a lot of changes going on behind the scenes, but our mission remains the same. We believe all kids should have access to a safe environment, food, shelter and clothing. We will do everything in our power to continue to provide these necessities to the local children, here in our very own community. ARK will start the year off with our first event, a Bowling Tournament at Eastway Lanes on February 29. All information regarding the tournament is posted on both our facebook and our website! We have filled all 26 team spots, so our tournament is sold out! We couldn’t be more excited for our first ever bowling event! We hope to see you there, whether bowling or supporting the event! There will be games of chance, a pie in the face contest and a raffle auction!


Auto Racers for Kids Charity
Po Box 9602, Erie PA 16506

President – Jill Blair     (814)746-1111
Vice President – Scott Bonnell
Treasurer – Tom Woolslayer
Secretary – Nikki Layton
Board Members: Jeff Plyler, Mike Langer, Kathy Rohrer, Laurie Woolslayer, Justin Plyler, Brandon Groters, Erin Groters, Chad Wagner, Matt Patterson, Darlene Kerstetter


Pie in the FACE!

As previously announced, our first event of 2020 is going to be our 1st ever Bowling Tournament to be held at Eastway Lanes, Saturday, February 29, 2020!  More information can be found under the Events Tab!

To go along with this bowling and to seek more involvement from our local racers, we are hosting a Pie in the Face contest and pitting 2 local competitors against each other, almost like the King Of The Hill, but instead of getting a checkered flag, the winner gets to Pie the loser!  


Max Blair and Dave Hess have signed on to be our 1st contestants in our 1st ever Pie in the Face King of the Hill!  We can not thank these 2 drivers enough for their support and show of sportsmanship!  


The pie throwing will happen at the bowling tournament, February 29.

The fundraising has started, and will continue up until the Bowling Tournament!

The driver to raise the most funds will get to pie the driver who raises the least funds! So, if you want to see Max get pied, donate to Team Hess and if you want to see Dave get pied, donate to Team Blair!  All funds go directly to the charity!

How can you donate, you ask?

Electronically – Venmo – Nikkilayton or Payapl – – Specify to which team you are donating to.  Paypal users – be sure to use the friends & family option.
Cash – Donate to Hess, Blair or any ARK Board Member
Check – Made Payable to Auto Racers for Kids, put the “Team” you are donating to in the memo line and mail to Auto Racers for Kids, PO Box 9602, Erie PA  16506


The competetition is heating up!!!
**Both Team Hess & Team Blair are running give-a-ways for persons who donate $5 or more to their team!  Details were posted on their respective Facebook pages – Team Blair Racing & Dave Hess Racing**


Questions – Contact us!


Bowling to be our 1st event in 2020!


Let’s shake off the winter blues with some bowling fun!  This is a new event for us and we have a feeling it will be a super fun one as well!!!  

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

Place: Eastway Lanes, 4110 Buffalo Rd, Erie, PA 16510

Time:  Arrival – 12:30-1pm.  Warmups at 1:20pm. Bowling starts at 1:30pm

Cost: $30 per Bowler / $150 Per Team (5 Bowlers to a team)
Bowling is limited to the 1st PAID IN FULL 24 Teams of 5. Team Captains, please collect all the funds from your team members & submit one payment in the amount of $150.00 at time of registration.

T-Shirts – Please provide your size, each bowler gets a shirt included.  We will have those available at the event.

Bowling is limited to Adults only.  You can bring your kids to watch, but kids can not bowl.

Prizes will be awarded to the Winning Team (Best overall), Losing Team (Worst Overall) and a few by random draw!

Chinese Auction, Strike Fund, 50\50 and more fun to be had!!

No outside food or beverage permitted by the alley. Bar & Food available for purchase.

Please bring your own bowling balls & shoes if you have them.  The alley has rentals for those who have no bowling gear

Registration Information can be found under the events tab!


Please contact Auto Racers for Kids facebook, Nikki Layton (814-528-4138) or Jill Blair (814-746-1111) with any questions!


ARK Donates just over $45,000 in 2019!

Members of Auto Racers for Kids Charities met with members of each of the local 5 charities to dispurse a great amount of donations for another stellar year of fundraising!

As we head toward the end of the year, we at ARK have so much to be thankful for!! The support and generosity of our community to allow us to continue giving is just absolutely amazing and overwhelming! We can not do what we do, on the scale that we do it, without each and every one of you!

This month, we met up with the 5 charities we work for, all local charities that provide services to children right here in our area, Erie & Crawford Counties! We had “Check Presentations” and we are so proud to announce that in 2019, we donated $45,100! YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT! We raised $45,000 this year through all of our events, social media campaigns, & monetary donations and we gave that right back to our community!

It is such an amazing and wonderful opportunity to be involved in our community and to see the appreciation and absolute gratitude from these organizations! WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

We hope you all continue to join us and support us in 2020!

2019’s receiving charities:
Autism Society – Social Lego Club
Bethesda Trinity Center
Erie Dawn
EUMA – The Refuge
Second Harvest Food Bank – Backpack Program



Bingo For Kids!

Auto Racers for Kids presents Bingo for Kids, Saturday, April 14th at the Mill Village Fire Hall.  Tickets are available by calling Rhonda or Jim at 814-746-2047 or 746-2048.  Doors open at 4PM, Bingo starts at 6.  All proceeds benefit 2018 receiving charities: 2nd Harvest Food Bank School Back Pack program, EUMA’s The Refuge, Erie Dawn and The Trinity Center.  We look forward to you sharing the fun and helping children in need in our community.

Stay informed about all Auto Racers for Kids events at:


Auto Racers for Kids 2017 Check Presentations

On Wednesday, October 11th 2017, Auto Racers for Kids presented 4 local charities checks that will benefit children in need.  Because of the generosity of the racing, business, classic car and our community of giving fans, Auto Racers for Kids was able to donate $13,000.00 to The Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA to help fund the Back Pack program at Tracy Elementary School.  Many children get their only nutrition of the day when at school and many have little or nothing to eat on the weekends.  This program helps fill the gap between Friday and Monday.  Many of the children’s siblings benefit from this also.

Also benefitting was The Refuge operated by The Erie United Methodist Alliance with a check for $15,000.00.  The Refuge is a place where homeless families can stay until employment can be found for the parents and permanent housing can be arranged.  Due to changes in State and Federal housing laws, The Refuge now depends solely on private donations.  Food and shelter are basic necessities of life for these at risk children and Auto Racers for Kids strongly supports the work of The Refuge and Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA.

Auto Racers for Kids has been the title sponsor of The Autism Society of NWPA’s Lego Social Program since its inception four years ago.  It began with just a few children and now has grown to 53  kids ranging from Kindergarten to 10th grade.  Legos, and the programs created by The Autism Society of NWPA, have greatly enhanced the social and participation skills of children with Autism.  We were thrilled to present them with a check for $4,000.00.

Earlier this year a couple of our board members became aware of a charity that finds children in need of sponsorship to receive Christmas gifts.  Project Secret Santa is a part of the Community of Caring charity in Erie and Auto Racers for Kids couldn’t resist helping out to make sure even more kids who might otherwise go without a Christmas gift, will now receive one.  It was our pleasure to present the Community of Caring’s Project Secret Santa with a check for $2500.00.

This year’s donations to these wonderful and deserving charities totaled $34,500.00.  Since Auto Racers for Kids was formed in 2008, we have raised and donated more than $320,000.00 to charities that focus on children in need in Erie and Crawford counties. 

Many thanks once again to our committed board members: Scott Bonnell, Jeff Plyler, Jill DiMattio, Kathy Rohrer, Mike Langer, Brandon Groters, Jim and Rhonda Eggleston and Laurie Woolslayer.  And especially in memory of a board member and dear friend we lost this year, Bob Rohrer. Thanks to all who participated in our events and made donations.  Please know you have definitely made a difference in the life of a child in need.  We hope 2018 will be another great year, so check back  here from time to time and remember to like us on Facebook at to get information on our 2018 events.


Tom Woolslayer – Board President, Auto Racers for Kids