Demo derby going to the dogs?

  • Shelter dog Pepper, a puggle, poses in a demoliton derby car being raffled off to benefit the Sheriff's Office Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center. Pepper is in need of a home. Recorder/Paul Franz

    Shelter dog Pepper, a puggle, poses in a demoliton derby car being raffled off to benefit the Sheriff's Office Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center. Pepper is in need of a home. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Employee Gabrielle Trudeau with Pepper and Shelter Director Leslee Colucci with Maggie, sitting on a car ready for the Franklin County Demolition Derby that the Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center in Montague is raffling off to raise funds for the shelter.  You can wreck it yourself or let a friend do it for you.  Both of these  dogs are available for adoption.  Recorder/Paul Franz

    Employee Gabrielle Trudeau with Pepper and Shelter Director Leslee Colucci with Maggie, sitting on a car ready for the Franklin County Demolition Derby that the Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center in Montague is raffling off to raise funds for the shelter. You can wreck it yourself or let a friend do it for you. Both of these dogs are available for adoption. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

  • Shelter dog Pepper, a puggle, poses in a demoliton derby car being raffled off to benefit the Sheriff's Office Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center. Pepper is in need of a home. Recorder/Paul Franz
  • Employee Gabrielle Trudeau with Pepper and Shelter Director Leslee Colucci with Maggie, sitting on a car ready for the Franklin County Demolition Derby that the Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center in Montague is raffling off to raise funds for the shelter.  You can wreck it yourself or let a friend do it for you.  Both of these  dogs are available for adoption.  Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — If you’re up to the challenge, you could help homeless dogs and get a chance to drive a demolition derby car at the Franklin County Fair.

Rambutt Racing has teamed up with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to raise money for its regional dog shelter, turning a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville into a demolition derby car and painting it to look like the sheriff’s office’s K9 cruiser.

You can tell it’s not a customary cruiser by the sponsor decals on its sides, and the fact that the six-pointed sheriffs’ star doesn’t usually have a dog head in the center of it.

All that’s missing is a driver.

The driver will be chosen by raffle during the fair.

“Whoever gets to drive it will have a blast,” said Patrick Chiapputi of Rambutt Racing. “Everyone who’s driven one of our cars has made it to the feature race. We don’t build junk cars.”

Chiapputi said the winner simply needs to have a valid driver’s license.

The team has raffled off demolition derby cars twice before, but this is the first year they’ve done it at the Franklin County Fair.

Last year’s raffle, at the Three County Fair in Northampton, also benefitted the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter.

“They’re a nonprofit, no-kill shelter and that’s why we chose them,” Chiapputi said.

Raffle tickets are $10 each, or three for $20, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the dog shelter. The winner will be selected at 4 p.m. Sunday. The winner doesn’t need to be present, but should leave a cell phone number and be able to make it to the fairgrounds before the 5:30 p.m. derby.

The derby car will be parked at the fairgrounds during the fair, with Rambutt Racing members and sheriff’s deputies selling raffle tickets. Sunday night, the lucky winner will crack it up in the derby.

The team has already been collecting donations and selling raffle tickets, with Chiapputi carting the car around on a trailer and parking it at area businesses.

“We’ve already raised about $500, and hope to bring in a couple thousand,” he said.

The team at Rambutt Racing is no stranger to raising money for a good cause.

In June, the team brought a pink Pontiac Grand Am to the fairgrounds to raise money for the Relay for Life. For a donation to the fight against cancer, people at the relay could sign their names, memorialize a loved one, or scrawl an inspiring message on the car. The racers helped add to the totals of Greenfield Savings Bank’s relay team, the Cash Crusaders.

That car will also be displayed at the fair before it, too, enters the demolition derby.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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