North Idaho

Kyle Petty kicks off fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene Saturday

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - The 19th annual Kyle Petty Ride Across America kicks off in Coeur d'Alene Saturday to help raise funds for chronically sick children.

The event started 19 years ago to raise money for Victory Junction a camp and medical facility started by the Petty family after Kyle's son passed away in 2000 in a racing accident.

Today it takes about $2,500 to send one kid to camp and one look at a long line of fans out to meet Petty and you'll find that might be something Spokane is ready to help out with.

Victory Junction fundraiser

On Friday morning Kyle Petty was up bright and early at Krispy Kreme; the doughnut chain has done a lot to help support his cause.

"We've had a ton of kids from this area come to camp because of Krispy Kreme," Petty explained. "They've raised millions of dollars for us, so we asked people to go out and buy a doughnut and get a cup of coffee in the morning. Nothing is better than a hot Krispy Kreme."

Victory Junction isn't just a camp; it's a place sick kids can go for fun and treatment.

"We have a full time doctor, full time nurses there, the camp goes year round, it's totally free to all the kids that come," Petty said.

Last year the Spokane Valley Krispy Kreme raised over $4,000 and, according to Elisa Jones, "this year we are shooting for over $5,000 because it takes about $2,500 to send a kid to camp because they're specialized medically centered camps so we'd like to send at least two kids from this area."

The money raised is all from doughnut sales and donations which will be collected until May 19.

"You can come on in donate a dollar, five dollars, tell us to keep the change and get a bear on our wall," Jones said.

Meanwhile, Kyle Petty hits the road to Phoenix Saturday from Coeur d'Alene in his brand new Dodge Charger police cruiser with hundreds of motorcyclist riding behind him.