Lake Park man will compete in a demo derby to help Hawley fire victimsLake Park, MN (WDAY TV) - A Lake Park man is getting his hands dirty to help out the Hawley family who lost everything in a house fire - including their 15 year-old girl.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Lake Park, MN (WDAY TV) - A Lake Park man is getting his hands dirty to help out the Hawley family who lost everything in a house fire - including their 15 year-old girl.
Matt Pederson's efforts are taking him through dirt, debris, and fender benders smack dab to the center of Becker County's Demolition Derby.
When it comes to cars, Matt Pederson of Lake Park knows his stuff. But demolition derbies?
Matt Pederson - Demo Derby for Rylie: "Never done a demo derby before"
He also never got the chance to meet Rylie Efterfield, the 15 year-old who lost her life in a Hawley house fire. That didn't stop him from wanting to do something special to help.
Matt Pederson: "I've got a good friend and he was friends with her. I kind of contacted him and asked him, 'Hey what do you think of this idea?'"
The idea isn't your typical fundraiser, but rather a fundraising fender bender.
Westin Munson - Friend and Helping Build Truck: "This project is pretty cool."
Westin Munson was a friend of Rylie's, and is now helping Matt build his rough riding machine.
Westin Munson: "She was a pretty cool person"
Matt Pederson: "It was just a regular farm truck"
The truck he'll drive during Becker County Fair's derby has transformed - now with Rylie's basketball number on its doors and notes from her friends covering the sides
Westin Munson: "She loved to play sports."
Matt Pederson: "It's a great way to help somebody. You know, we could build the truck and just go out and smash it, or we could build the truck and try to earn the family some money."
Matt's been bringing the truck to different spots around Lake Park and Hawley, collecting donations and having people sign their names in Rylie's honor.
Matt Pederson: "Lots of thank yous; a lot of people are surprised that I've never met the family, didn't know the family"
But Matt's still willing to put in countless hours of work, and a thrill-filled ride in the pit...all for the girl they lost.
Matt Pederson: "That brings some tears to the eyes."
If you'd like to see Matt compete, Becker County Fair's Demo Derby starts at 7 on Saturday. You can also stop by anytime after 3 to donate or sign the truck.