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Kart racing group rallies against drunk driving

Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-21 19:20:39-05

A go-kart enthusiast group is encouraging sober driving, all while offering support for service men and women.

"Kart Racing For Heroes" is an event for veterans, police, first responders and active military to reduce stress without the use of drugs or alcohol. The founder, Craig Mansfield, started the event because his son was killed by a drunk driver eleven years ago.

"My son and I used to race," said Mansfield. "It was the one thing after this tragedy that I could do without drugs or alcohol, to relieve the stress that I was going through."

Mansfield's son, Kristopher, was 23-years-old and an airmen who had just returned from active duty in Iraq. Mansfield was compelled to give back to service members because many reached out to him in his time of need.

"This is my way of giving back and saying, 'thank you for the job you're doing every day'," said Mansfield.

Sunday's event was held at Unser Karting in Denver. Seven teams of five people participated in the 45-minute race. Mansfield pays for all of the participants to race. He also provides lunch.

The race was dedicated to fallen Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jaimie Jursevics, who was killed by a suspected drunk driver in November of 2015. A portion of the donations raised to fund the event were given to Jursevics' husband and baby daughter.

"Not only did it affect our family, but it affected my personal family," said Trooper Timothy Sutherland. "I went through many classes with her, she was a great person."

Sutherland underlined the event's main theme.

"We're all here in good fun today, but the message is serious. Drunk driving affects almost everybody on a daily basis here in Colorado."

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