Fayetteville Last winter, Ben Rabin shot down the hill at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville in a Harley Davidson motorcycle made of cardboard and duct tape in just 22.1 seconds.
Did he lose a dare, or is he just crazy?
Neither. The Syracuse attorney was part of a team competing in Sled for RED, an event that raises both funds and awareness for AIDS Community Resources. The Syracuse-based organization started the cardboard sled derby last year as an interesting and different way to draw attention to its mission to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Central New York. This year’s event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville.
Rabin and members of his team, the Law Sharks, gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings in Cicero, one of Sled for RED’s sponsors, on Thursday, Jan. 12, to show off their sled, which won the derby last year and to talk about this year’s event.
“I think that there’s a lot of charity work in Upstate New York, but not enough attention is focused on this issue,” Rabin said. “It’s really the premiere fundraising tool for this organization, so we thought it would be good. Plus, it’s fun. There are a huge amount of choices for charities, so if you’re going to give to one, you might as well pick a fun event to do it.”
Rabin’s team, which also includes his friend John Hodges, also of Manlius, is entering a pickup truck design this year with cardboard donated by Empire State Cardboard. Last year’s motorcycle used 3,600 feet of duct tape and took more than two weeks of nights from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. to construct.
“All of our families get involved,” Hodges said. “It’s a team-building effort. All of our buddies come over. We work on it. The kids help.”