Sunday, July 27, 2008 | 9:37 p.m. CDT
COLUMBIA — There might not have been a 25th annual Hot Dog Shootout motocross race Sunday at Finger Lakes State Park if it weren’t for the hard work of Louis Frech and Randy Whitesides. Organized by the not-for-profit Motocross Parents, 49 riders took part in the event in memory of the men who both died two years ago from cancer. Frech was 59 when he died. Whitesides was 64.
Whitesides, who had owned a convenience store called Randy’s Market north of Columbia near Finger Lakes, was the first sponsor for MXP. When it was formed in 1975, he gave support any way he could.
“He used to give them gas certificates for guys that would win,” son Kevin Whitesides, 44, said.
Kevin Whitesides said Randy Whitesides was close friends with MXP members and he wanted to help because of that closeness. Randy Whitesides did a lot of his work from outside the organization, while Frech was the man on the inside.
“(Frech) worked on the track, he flagged,” wife, Betty Frech, said. “He just did whatever he needed to do.”
Louis Frech didn’t ride motocross; he was a Harley Davidson guy. His son Jim Frech, 37, was the motocross rider, which is how Louis Frech became involved with MXP a few years after it was started.
Betty Frech said she and her husband had to bring their own machinery from home to work on the track. No matter the conditions, Louis and Betty Frech were dedicated to creating a safe, fun environment for motocross riders.
“There wasn’t a scoring tower, so we would sit outside in the rain and all our papers were soaked,” Betty Frech said.