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Thunder Slam a big winner with fans, charity

November 25, 2013
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Elmer Tabor and Dr. Len Brown knew they were going to be marked men when they took to the dirt track outside the Lee Civic Center for the Thunder Slam Demolition Derby and Thrill Show on Nov. 22-24.

Thankfully, they got somebody to drive a third car that had their backs, Jerry "The King" Lawler.

The wrestling legend was one of the many attractions at the three-day event that benefitted the Guardian Angels of Special Populations of Cape Coral, the Rotary and the Invest in America's Veterans Foundation.

Article Photos

CHUCK BALLARO

Dr. Len Brown drives the Rotary Pirates Car in the derby qualifier at the Thunderslam Demolition Derby and Thrill Show on Saturday at the Lee Civic Center.

And judging by the packed house at Saturday's show, everybody was a winner, according to promoter Rev Prochnow.

"I'm happy for the first time here. We're going to build this thing into a better situation even if demolition derbies are a little unpredictable," Prochnow said.

The weekend started with veterans night where those who served our country got in at a discount, with the meat of the action coming on Saturday before a Sunday Family Day rounded out the festivities.

Among the attractions were quad races, FMX motorcycle back flippers, monster trucks, a demonstration by young mixed martial artists, dozens of vendors and, of course, cars and their drivers trying their best to destroy each other.

Among the monster truck drivers was Rob French, who with Kelley Carrington competed in "The Amazing Race" last year, who has made it into his business.

"I've been doing this for 25 years. I was on the show because of my monster trucks," French said. "If you can help somebody, I've been blessed in my life to have money, so if I can help someone it makes the world a better place."

Brown, who drove the blue-and-yellow Rotary car with the skull and crossbones flags on it, did it as a way to help Special Pops.

"Special Pops is near and dear to Rotary and we support them with a lot of different things, the latest was $15,000 in computer equipment," Brown said. "One of our members is a mechanic and he got involved in one of the promoters and it progressed from there."

Tabor drove the Special Pops car, proving one more time why he has an award for philanthropy named in his honor.

"At the Tabor Awards we talked about giving time, talent and treasure for the community. Well, they found one more thing. I'm sacrificing my body," Tabor joked.

As for the Invest in America car, there was a crown placed atop the roof, signifying who was going to drive it.

Lawler, who has a condo in Fort Myers, has worked with Prochnow for more than 20 years on a myriad of charitable functions.

"Rev is an original Guardian Angel, he has a son in the program, and we've worked together for years on Monster Truck events," Lawler said. "Rev said I had a couple good reasons to come down. It would benefit Special Pops, which was reason enough, and it was in Fort Myers. It's like a working vacation."

Lawler could be seen in the pits taking photos with the Special Pops gang before getting into the car he was going to wreck.

"Whenever he's nearby or available he supports all of our causes 100 percent," Prochnow said.

The Fort Myers East Rotary also raised funds through their fourth-annual Caloosa Cook-off, with more than 20 teams participating.

Procknow said he hopes to turn this into something they do several times a year. Plans are in the making for a "Mud Monsters and Beyond" show from March 14-16, which will feature only trucks.

 
 

 

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