You may know him as the Editor of the VKA Magazine, FirsTurn, or the driver of the blue and orange Fox Kart #4, or you may know him as Rolf Hill. What you may not know is that he started karting when he was about 13; raced for six years at Upper Marlboro, MD and 75/80 kart track in Monrovia, MD. He took a 45-year break for college, family, and a career. In 2010, he was retired and wanted to renew his interest in karting and according to Rolf “rebuild my memories in karting.”
This next phase of his life included total immersion in the Vintage Karting Association. At first it was 10 events a year, three Fox Karts that he restored to look like his original, then five engines, so he had “spares,” (something he learned at his first VKA event at Barnesville in 2011), and ultimately enough “spares” to run a dual.
To keep his life organized (and so his wife would know of upcoming events), he created a wall calendar, complete with pictures. “It turned out pretty good, if you ask me, and I thought some of my new friends might like a copy.” So, if they sent him $15, he would print one off on his home color printer and mail it to them. As requests increased, Rolf started to take pre-orders and used a professional printer. For the first five years, Rolf donated the profits to VKA. Then things changed.
“Nobody has heard of Friedreich’s Ataxis (FA),” says Rolf. “It is classified as a ‘rare’ disease. Only one in 5000 people have FA. ‘Rare’ or not, when it strikes someone you love, how ‘rare’ it is, doesn’t matter. It is real.” In 2016, his 12-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with FA … a neurological, degenerative, condition that affects balance, speech, and other physical attributes. [If you want to know more, check out the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) website: www.curefa.org/whatis.] Since that time, her youngest sister also has been diagnosed with FA. Profits from the 2017 Calendars (and beyond) have gone and will continue to go to a non-profit organization to help find a cure and to help others with Friedreich’s Ataxia expenses. Visit www.burrows-hill.org to see how the money they collect is spent.
Each year’s calendar has had a theme: Peoples’ Choice winners, virtual kart show winners, unique and one-of-a-kind karts, etc. The 2022 theme is VKA tracks and Rolf has expanded his fund-raising efforts to include them. Track supporters will get a full-page aerial photo and 10 free calendars. Rolf hopes the 2022 calendar will be attractive to modern karters as well as vintage karters who use those tracks.
According to Rolf, “In the last five years, profits have gone to the non-profit to find a cure and help with FA-related expenses. Since 2017 vintage karters have raised nearly $13,600 from sales, advertising, and donations. My goal for the 2022 Vintage Karting Calendar is to exceed $20,000 for the 5-year total contribution.”
“I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support I’ve gotten from vintage karters. Any support, large or small, is welcome. Every dollar helps. It could be the last one we need to find a cure,” according to Rolf.
The 2022 Vintage Kart Calendar will go on sale in October. Mailing is scheduled for early December … just in time for Christmas. If you are interested, contact Rolf at KartNumber4@yahoo.com.