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Fireball Run Stops in Crossville Print E-mail
By Joan DuBois and Alan Kantor   
October 7, 2011
US Chess Event Organizer Joan DuBois tries out the “Sprint Car” provided by locals Jerry and Dee Walker.
Several weeks ago, U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) Executive Director Bill Hall was approached by J.J. Sanchez, Fireball Run Owner, to have the USCF's headquarters in Crossville, TN serve as one of the locations chosen to be a pit stop for this year’s adventure. The USCF was proud to be a part of the mission to help find America’s Missing Children. USCF immediately approached the Cumberland County and City of Crossville officials and they too were just as excited to join this mission. Sanchez, of Orlando, Florida had a vision back in 2005 that he’d put into motion in 2007. This year’s adventure is the fifth annual road rally. In the first four years 35 missing children have been found!

Each year Sanchez chooses a certain route in the U.S. to run the mission. The 2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run (fireballrun.com) was a Southern Excursion.  This was a live “mission style” interactive game taking place on the open road. Fireball Run incorporates motorsports and challenges the driver’s navigational abilities. Since their inception over 75,000 missing children posters have been distributed along their routes.

Each car in the adventure sponsors a missing child. A poster of “their” child is displayed on their car. Throughout the mission, all drivers distribute fliers for “their” child at every stop. This year’s adventure began with 36 “race” cars leaving Melbourne, Florida on September 24 and ending in Gulfport, Mississippi on October 1. The “pawns” or drivers had the mission of locating the U.S. Chess Federation using only longitude and latitude coordinates with the addition of one clue and they had to arrive at the USCF national headquarters ​between 9-11am on September 29!

All drivers successfully reached their destination and upon arrival were required to have their photo taken near the U.S. Chess sign while holding a large black pawn as proof they made it!

County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr., Canadian drivers Rick Kenderdine, Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham, III, Interim City Manager Mike Turner, John Garden.

Two of the children sponsored have a connection with Cumberland County. They were each sponsored on cars in the adventure. Car #5, driven by Daytona 500 & NASCAR Legend Geoff Bodine and Car #87, driven by Space Shuttle Astronaut Winston Scott. Panama Jack of 102.5 Wow Country interviewed Geoff Bodine, and Scott Davis of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department along with a family member of the missing children.
Car #5 driver Geoff Bodine and Christine Michaels.

Other notables showing up at the U.S. Chess Federation included: Scott Newitt, co-founder of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka; Doc Harmony, Celebrity Holistic Doctor – just to mention a few. Not only do those of us who live in America care about missing children but Canada does as well! Team Canadian Beavers drove from Canada to help support this mission. Rick Kenderdine and John Garden drove Car #54.

The 7-day race was shown live on fireballrun.com and the edited version will be produced into a movie and shown in theatres across the U.S. The movie will later be available on DVD. There were six host cities, two of which were: Knoxville, Tennessee; Clarksville, Tennessee. Within the City of Crossville, three destinations were chosen as pit stops, the U.S. Chess Federation, the Treehouse and the I-40 Dragstrip. Information about the U. S. Chess Federation is available at their website, uschess.org; by phone at 931-787-1234, ext. 0 or e-mail, [email protected].

Whether it be working with children or finding missing children, anything involving our children is near and dear to the heart. This year's run has already peaked the interest of three individuals to take part in next years Fireball Run Adventure! As Fireball ​Run Media Director David Hickman exclaimed, “The set of missions the U.S. Chess was involved in were the hit of the rally.” If you want to find out more about the Fireball Run adventures or perhaps even take part in a road rally – check out fireballrun.com.
It is not that often that executive directors of the U.S. Chess Federation get together, let alone face each other over the board.  Executive Director Bill Hall and former Executive Director Frank Niro, who was in town for the Fireball Run faced off against each other with the aid of two local scholastic children, Corbin Madden and Will Clark. 

Corbin Madden and Will Clark shaking hands before matching wits!

Here is the game in its entirety:


Special thanks to:
County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr. and staff, Crossville Interim City Manager: Mike Turner and staff, Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham, III and staff, Crossville Street Department Joe H. Miller, Jr. and staff, Crossville PR Director Billy Loggins,

Crossville Parks & Recreation Steve Hill and staff, Flowers Bakery Randy Farley,
Crossville Interim Fire Chief Chris South and Crossville Fire Department, Crossville Police Chief David Beatty and Crossville Police Department, Downtown Crossville, Inc.  ​Frances Carson and staff, Crossville-Chamber Beth Alexander, Gateway Productions/Crossville Profiles Jerry Wood; Ashley Kesterton, PEG Broadcasting Gordon Stack, Steve Sweeney and staff, Crossville Chronicle Gary Nelson, Harry Sabine, Sign Smith and Flynn Sign Company, Dave Kirk Chevrolet, Steve Stone and Tap Publishing, Allen Snow, Jerry & Dee Walker, Kim E. Hartman, President of Fairfield Glade Rotary, Beanpot Restaurant Jim Jones, Grandview Mountain Cottages, Pepe Perron – Camp Nakanawa, Chess Kids: Corbin Madden, Will Clark, Lucas and Richard Dale, Boy Scout Troop #174, Cumberland County Bank, Progressive Savings, First National Bank, V.E.C., Vol First, Upper Cumberland Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Action Heating & Cooling, USCFSales.
U.S. Chess Federation Executive Director: Bill Hall
2011 Chevrolet Fireball Run Event USCF Coordinators: Joan DuBois, Kenny Keck, Gene Johnson. Staff: Judy Misner, Joe Nanna, Peggy Eberhart, Susan Houston, Alan Kantor, Walter Brown, Cheryle Bruce, Traci Lee, Chuck Lovingood, Joe Wright, Joshua VanWinkle. Volunteers: Bill Bruce, Gordon Misner, Tonya Wright, Alyssa Stephens, Marissa Stephens.
L-R, County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr.; drivers Monte Patterson and Ron Spindler, USCF Executive Director Bill Hall, Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham, III, Interim City Manager Mike Turner, Crossville Police Chief David Beatty.



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