Jet dragster part of fundraiser for young girl

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A community fundraiser this weekend in Scotland will feature an appearance by one of the fastest land-based vehicles in Ontario.

The Northern Warrior jet dragster is the brainchild of Neale Armstrong, the longtime manager of Dragway Park, near Cayuga. Armstrong completed the dragster in 2015 and has since ramped it up to 300-plus m.p.h. in the quarter mile.

Saturday’s fundraiser will be held at Modern Auto Parts at 78 Townsend Concession Rd. 2, just east of Highway 24.

The event will be held on behalf of Victoria Emmerson, 5, of LaSalette, and her family. The youngster has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing an intensive program of chemotherapy.

“Teeterville firefighters are going to put on a safety show for the kids,” says Modern co-owner Todd Hope. “I understand they’re going to put on a demonstration with the jaws of life.”

Emmerson has become a familiar face at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton since receiving her diagnosis in April.

There have been biopsies, spinal taps and the infusion of chemical cocktails designed to reverse her cancer. The treatment oncologists have mapped out for Victoria will take nearly three years to complete.

The diagnosis has placed a financial strain on Victoria’s parents, Becky and Jared. A GoFundMe campaign has been mounted on their behalf with a goal of $10,000. Nearly $3,600 has been raised so far, with Saturday’s event expected to add to the total.

“We’re going to have a practice session with the Jaws of Life,” said Gary Taylor, a captain at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Station 4 in Teeterville. “We’ll tape off an area where people will be safe and we’ll tear a few cars apart.”

Grandfather Dana Thorne, of Brantford, reports that Victoria’s summer has been filled with love, fun and adventure.

“She had a good July,” he said in an interview. “There wasn’t too much hospital. We tried to give her as much childhood as we could because she was feeling pretty good. We’re trying to fit in as much as we can while we can.”

The family is bracing for four months of chemotherapy beginning this fall.

A bonus muscle car will appear at Modern Auto Parts, along with the Northern Warrior.

Saturday’s event begins at noon and winds up at 3 p.m. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be barbecued on site and available to the public.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

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