The Manassas School Board recognized the city’s most famous third grade go-kart racer, Timmy "Mini" Tyrrell, for his work in raising about $100,000 to find a cure for cancer and support families battling cancer.
Since he was inspired after watching a friend’s battle with brain cancer two years ago, the R.C. Haydon Elementary student has become a national celebrity. His story has appeared on CNN, he has visited NASCAR racing legend Jeff Gordon and he was feted on a NBC Nightly News segment with Brian Williams. He has been racing go-karts since he was 4 years old.
The school board issued a Certificate of Commendation on Monday that recognized Timmy’s efforts to raise money. Timmy’s Burn Rubber to Help Another effort, which raises money while he is racing at King George Speedway and on the Internet, has collected about $100,000 for various charities, including Gordon’s Children's Foundation.
With all the notice, Timmy stays pretty grounded, said his mom, Tina.
District Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk noted that he still has third-grade homework every night.
“We are honoring a young man that has been doing something special in support of others for years,” Magouyrk said. “You have done a good job to stay focused on this.”
Timmy smiled broadly when accepting the award. “I just don’t like cancer,” Timmy said, “I don’t like it.”
School board members were clearly impressed.
“Timmy represents what is the best of the city and is an ambassador,” for Manassas, said school Board Chairman Scott Albrecht. “This is an example of the good things that are coming from this younger generation.”
Timmy has been active in his fundraising efforts. From March 2011 to February 2012 he raised about $29,000 for the Jeffery Virostek Fund (Chantilly), which benefited families fighting childhood cancers with financial assistance for basic living expenses. Last Christmas, he raised almost $2,000 for a Secret Santa event at his school and in July donated $2,200 to the Ervin Wible Medical Fund. So far this year, he has raised about $70,000 for the Kick-It.org/Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation for pediatric cancer research. To donate to support his efforts, click here.