The West Texas Shootout for Autism Awareness was one of the premiere races held in the United States. Held under our governing organization of NAMBA, the final two years of the event were two of the largest events held for that calendar year in the United States. Racers traveled from around the world to race here in "El Chuco". 250 boats raced at each of the final two years of the event! Some of the very best racing took place in El Paso with the top talents in the sport battling it out for the prestigous and unique Shootout Awards designed and created by Robert Kramer at www.masterdesigns.com
The event was also home to several specialty awards such as the Eli Karagich Award for Excellence and the Dale Roberts Award for Sportsmanship. These handcrafted trophies were designed with this event in mind. Dale Roberts of Albuquerque, New Mexico won the Eli Karagich Award for Excellence the 1st and 3rd years of the Event. Robert Holland of Highland Ranch, Colorado won it the 2nd year and John Borden of Arlington, Texas took home the honors in 2014.
In 2014, we introduced the Dale Roberts Award for Sportsmanship. Dale is not only a Champion on the water, but his actions and demeanor off of the water are unparalleled. In his honor and in an effort to further encourage sportsmanship, we created this prestigious award. Karl Loveless of Lehi, Utah was the deserving winner of this Award!
We also had the "ARMY" The Armadillo Trophy that represented the shootout winner between NAMBA District 7 and 19. This award began in the 2nd year of the event with District 19 winning the first two years and District 7 reclaiming the awesome award in the final year of the West Texas Shootout.
Racers traveled to El Paso not only for the great racing, but the camaraderie of their fellow racers. Racers formed bonds and relationships that will last a lifetime. Each year we worked to have social events to get our guests together. We enjoyed great dinners and after hour events with our fellow racers. Please watch the embedded video below to view our promotional video for the 2014 event. The sites and sounds shown are very much all apart of the great experience!
On Friday night at our 2014 event, we held a Welcome Party for all of our guests. We provided cocktails and appetizers for the racers. Racers gathered and laughed hysterically over stories and experiences. These types of gatherings were important to us as a club as we saw it as a great opportunity to meet and greet our guests. Mr. H and his crew from Japan are always a blast. Mr. H decided to drink a shot of the local culture in the form of tequila....from a bowl!
Watch the below video for your glimpse into our great time!
Our many various sponsors made for an amazing event for all of those that attended. We were able to get many locally made products and give each of our entrants a Welcome Package that included Refried Beans, Salsa, Jalepeno's, Tequila Glasses, Spices, Calendars and more. Racers also received many great gifts in their registration packets, including NGK Sprark plugs, key chains and flashlights.
Racers were also greeted with tons of amazing raffle prizes! Our great sponsors really took care of each us each year with the donation of Radios, Engines, Boat Hulls, Fueling Systems, Servos, Hardware, Tequila, Fuel Jugs, Propellors and more!
For the last 3 events, we produced and printed a Racer Program for each event. Every racer receieved one of these programs in their entry packages. The race programs had advertisements from all of our sponsors as well as info on racers attending. We have uploaded the 3 Race Programs for you to view if you wish. Please click on one of the program covers below to view that years program.
Sponsors also worked closely with us so that we could provide a Kids-Only raffle for participants of the Autism Society Run/Walk Event. Traxxas, Hobbico/Aquacraft, Horizon Hobby, Team Associated, Ez Fly R/C and Atomic were extremely generous and allowed for us to give away great radio control products free of charge in a fun raffle for kids with Autism. These raffles each year were the highlight of the event for many of our club members as well as racers in attendance. Children were thrilled to win their great new prizes! We even had many of the kids and their families join us at a later date so that we could assist their kids with their new toys. This gave many children a new hobby that didn't include sitting in front of a tv, but rather gave them a hands on hobby experience!
Each morning racers were greeted with complimentary coffee, muffins, cinnamon buns, fresh fruit and juices. Every day at lunch racers were also given complimentary lunches from Chick-Fil-A, Subway, Papa John's Pizza, Chubby's Deli and even burgers and hotdogs from our own BBQ Grill! Once there for the weekend, racers didn't need to venture out of the park at all. We provided water and sodas as well throughout the weekend. We wanted our racers to feel comfortable and right at home!
Each year we worked to take a great deal of pictures and videos from the event. Club Photographer Larry Brazell did an amazing job each year capturing the action! Shannon Stone also did a great job videotaping the events! Click the video below for a sample!
Click the links below for pictures from each year of the event:
So...Exciting racing, awesome trophies, great prizes, free breakfast and lunch, welcome packages, gift bags and all around fun with great friends wasn't even the best part of this event. The fact that we were able to raise Autism Awareness within our local community as well as the Radio Control world was just icing on the cake. Helping people understand a condition that few are ever given any true information concerning is a win in our book. Not to mention that through hard work and the gracious contributions of our many wonderful sponsors, we were able to donate over $12,000 to the Autism Society of El Paso in just 4 years. In our infancy in 2011, we donated $1,000. In 2012, we raised the game by donating $3,560. In 2013, we upped it even more by donating $4,223.57. And in the final year, had we not ended our event early due to horrible weather conditions we would have been able to do much more than the final check of $4,000. So in 4 years time, we actually donated $12,783.57. We are extremely proud of contribution to the Autism Society and even more grateful for all of those businesses and individuals that supported our event and made this possible!