Turtle Derby set for Parker

By on August 8, 2012

Parker Harley (second from left) was joined by several of his Ephrata High School classmates who brought the prom to his hospital room at Johns Hopkins this past spring. The Elks Lodge will host a Turtle Derby on Sept. 2 to raise funds for Harley, who was recently diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

So what is known as the slowest two minutes in sports? A Turtle Derby of course.

The turtles are coming to the Ephrata Elks Lodge on Sunday, September 2 as part of the Beer, BBQ and Turtle Derby, Pound-it-Park Fundraising Event.

This event has been designed as a major fundraising opportunity for Ephrata High School student Parker Harley. Parker, a 17-year-old son of Jack and Stephanie Harley, was recently diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), and the local community has come together to show their support.

PSC is a rare disease that causes inflammation and scarring in the ducts that bring bile out of the liver and into the digestive tract. Transplantation of the liver and bile ducts is the only effective treatment currently recognized.

It was Parker’s best friend Josh Buohl, however who really got the ball rolling to raise funds for Parker’s medical expenses. Josh saw his friend in need and began selling wristbands. Parker was able to maintain his outgoing and humorous nature during a serious stay at Johns Hopkins Hospital by asking the nurses for fist bumps, hence the saying on the bracelets, "Pound It Park."

Ignited by the wristband sales, a group of friends and neighbors formed the "Pound It Park" fundraising committee and they are excited about their upcoming event.

The Turtle Derby was conceived by a group of medical students at Johns Hopkins Hospital and has been a yearly fundraiser for over 80 years. The Harleys, having seen the event while staying at Hopkins, knew they had to bring the event to Lancaster County.

The inaugural Turtle Derby will be held at the Ephrata Elks Lodge Post 1933 (170 Akron Road, Ephrata) on Sunday September 2 from 3-9 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for 21-and-under and free for children five-and-under.

Ticket prices include all-you-can-eat food and drink, watching the turtle races, live music, kids crafts and family entertainment by Insanity Factor. Additionally, there will be a raffle, Chinese Auction and most excitingly, participants can enter a turtle in the Derby for only $10 (turtles provided), and watch to see who wins. Cash prizes will be awarded for the winners and most creative turtle name. The Derby is sure to garner excitement, as spectators cheer for their fave in the tournament-style sport event.

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Blue Ridge Communications, 804 Academy Hgts. Ave., Ephrata, 733-6006 ext. 2551 (Cindy); Historic Smithton Inn, 900 West Main Street, Ephrata, 733-6094; or visit us at www.facebook/pounditpark or www.pounditpark.org.

You may also contact any committee member: Deb Buohl 738-4478; Cindy Mellinger 598-8686; Jon & Lindsay Shehan 304-4749; or Jack & Stephanie Harley 875-1945 (sharley@dejazzd.com). More TURTLE DERBY, page A16

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