The Great Race has always held a special bond with those who have been involved with the event, and the story of Ken Lumberry epitomizes that better than any other. Lumberry, of Delong, Illinois, died recently at the age of 80.
His connection with the Great Race goes back almost two decades, and although he never competed in the event himself, he made it possible for dozens of others to participate. Lumberry donated his car, a 1928 Ford Model A speedster, to high school teams across the country so they could compete in the X-Cup division. The Model A was originally red, but was repainted yellow by one X-Cup team. One of the many X-Cuppers to use the car was our own Naomi Schnell.
The Great Race meant so much to Lumberry that when he passed away his family asked memorials be made to the X-Cup division. And the folks in his community responded. Lumberry’s wife, Ruth, will be at the lunch stop in Peoria, Illinois, on Monday, June 24, to make the presentation.
The money will be awarded in the form of scholarships, with one half going to the winning team, one fourth to the team with the lowest single day score and one fourth to the team with the best single leg score.