OGUNQUIT — An exciting opportunity will be making a pit-stop in Ogunquit on Sept. 28.
The Fireball Run, an annual road rally where America is the game board, is making its final overnight stay in Ogunquit as the 40 participating teams make their way to Bangor for the conclusion of the rally.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Perkins Cove on Friday, May 18, that Ogunquit had been chosen by the Fireball Run team to be part of this year’s “Fireball Run Adventurally Northern Exposure.”
David Hickman, executive vice president for the Fireball Run, said the race not only gathers together some of America’s most innovative and successful business minds but it also spreads awareness for missing children.
Each team in the road rally is assigned a missing child, whose face also appears on the cars they drive, and it’s the ongoing mission of the rally to promote awareness about the children.
Hickman said it’s not unusual for participants to meet people in the various towns they’ll visit, from Independence, Ohio, to Bangor, Maine, and to hand them a “business card” that contains information about themselves as well as the children they’re looking for.
So far, since their inaugural race in 2006, Hickman said 38 missing children have been found with the help of the Fireball Run.
As for Ogunquit’s participation, Hickman said organizers were looking for a place in Maine to visit on their way to Bangor that was nearby Sanford, where the teams will compete in the annual Pumpkin Boat Regatta. Ogunquit came up as a possible location.
“How could we say no?” Hickman asked as he stood in front of the ocean at Perkins Cove. “This is a quintessential New England town. The beauty speaks for itself, it’s there behind me.”
With the race only open to business owners, individuals in executive management positions, civil servants, active duty military members or retirees of any of the above categories, Hickman said many of the participants end up purchasing second- or third-homes in locations that are visited. He expects Ogunquit to be a stand-out location as the race’s first seaside stop.
Karen Arel, president of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce, said it’s a great opportunity for the town and she’s excited about the feature film that will also be made documenting the racers and their ride from Ohio to Maine.
Gary Latulippe, chairman of the chamber board, agreed that bringing attention to Ogunquit and the cause for finding missing children is a “win-win.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the town to showcase what we have to offer to people from other parts of the country who have never heard of us before and wouldn’t find us otherwise,” Latulippe said. “I think the natural beauty of Ogunquit will speak for itself.”
Sen. Dawn Hill also was present for the press conference.
Hill said the mission of the Fireball Run to raise awareness for missing children is very important and that she’s excited that the rally will bring many new faces to Maine.
Hill said after learning of the opportunity she quickly read up on the run and is excited that Ogunquit’s beauty will be showcased on their travels.
“It’s good for the economy and it helps children, what better opportunity could there be?” Hill asked. “It’s great to be part of the solution.”
For information about the Fireball Run, visit www.fireballrun.com.