On Sept. 29, 2006, an accident occurred on County Road X in Henry County that took two boys lives. Jacob Baumgartner and Austin Bandy were headed to school at the Four County Career Center when they hit a culvert and then struck a tree that was about four miles from their school.
Austin, 16, was from Evergreen High School. Jacob, who just turned 17 that day was from Wauseon High School. The boys were both attending Four County for the Powersports/Small Engine program.
That weekend Jacob was to be in a race at Delta Raceway, Delta MotorSports Park. Little did the family know that the track had taken donations to give to the family, in hopes that it could help alleviate any kind of financial expenses that come with the funeral of a loved one. Denise Drenning, the mother of Jacob, and her family were surprised, and very honored.
Drenning and her family contemplated what to do with the money since it was not necessarily needed for the cost of the funeral. She talked to the track and they talked about a scholarship. This scholarship was would be a memoriam to the boys.
In thoughts of doing this Drenning never thought that this would continue down the road. This one time scholarship in 2007 lead to another when the race track contacted her, and asked her if she would like to do it again. Delta Raceway and Drenning put together four years of taking donations to keep this scholarship flowing until 2012.
In 2012, Drenning and her family held an event at the Sandusky Valley Riders. and in 2013 sold tickets for a training session at Millsap Training Facility in Cairo, Ga. In 2014 nothing was held for the scholarship fund.
In 2015, Drenning, with the help of her family, decided to host a poker run yearly to help raise money for Austin and Jacobs’ memorial scholarship. The run became a heartfelt accomplishment local bikers look forward to every year.
“I’ve had the honor of riding in this poker run for the last couple years. It’s been great to see the big attendance that it brings each year. Denise and Travis are good friends of mine and work very hard to put on a super poker run in memory of their son,” said Chad Posey, American Legion Post 265 Riders Director. “I myself, am an alumni of Four County Career Center and know how important this is for students to get some kind of help with college finances. I’ll be proudly riding again and hope to see many new faces attend.”
On average Drenning and her family donate about $2,000 a year.
“Each year is different” she said. “Sometimes there is more and sometimes there is less.”
Over $20,000 has been raised and given away to students through the years. Every year Drenning and her family get to choose two applicants from the vocational school on who will receive the scholarship. Each year one of the family members gets to present the scholarship to the two graduates that they chose.
Originally the scholarship was given to the kids who attended the power sports program. Later it was decided that no child should be left out and now is available to all students.
A poker run for this scholarship will be held Saturday. The cost is $20 a rider, $5 a passenger, and $10 extra hand. This price includes dinner. It is a cash only event.
Registration will begin at 11 a.m. at the Wauseon American Legion Post #265. The ride leaves at noon. Those not riding are welcome to attend. Dinners will be $10 each and start at 5 p.m., with entertainment to follow provided by Big Fish and Dad. There will be 50/50 drawings, raffles for gas cards-gift cards and much more.
If you would like to make a donation, contact Drenning at 419-388-1565.