Caterpillar donated a CAT Chopper to the Victory Junction Gang Camp for seriously ill children March 27 in Clayton, N.C. The charitable organization was founded and is supported by the Petty family of NASCAR racing fame, and the plan is to use the motorcycle to raise funds for the camp.
The stated mission of the Victory Junction Gang Camp is to enrich the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment. Kyle and Pattie Petty founded the camp, located in North Carolina on land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty. The camp operates solely on donations and offers a unique opportunity for children whose medical needs keep them from attending standard camps.
The camp features a NASCAR racing theme, and it has been strongly supported by the NASCAR community. Caterpillar is now in its 14th season of NASCAR participation as a sponsor — starting in 1993 as an associate sponsor of Kyle Petty’s No. 42 Pontiac in what was then the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Caterpillar now is the primary sponsor of the No. 22 car driven by Dave Blaney in the Nextel Cup Series.
Caterpillar officials donated the CAT Chopper to the camp, represented by Petty family members, in a ceremony at the Caterpillar Building Construction Products Division in Clayton, N.C.
“I can’t thank the folks at Caterpillar enough for donating this beautiful custom chopper to the camp,” said Pattie Petty, CEO and co-founder of Victory Junction. “This donation will help raise funds to continue to send children with chronic medical conditions to Victory Junction for a life changing camping experience. The fact that Caterpillar has reached out to create such a great partnership with the camp speaks volumes about their organization.”
The donated CAT Chopper is one of two identical custom motorcycles designed and fabricated for Caterpillar by Orange County Choppers Inc. (OCC), the focus of the Discovery Channel’s hit American Chopper television series. The CAT Chopper episodes aired in April 2005, shortly after the bike was shown to the public as part of the Caterpillar exhibit at ConExpo. Since then, both choppers have been “on tour” — making appearances at Caterpillar and Cat dealer facilities as well as trade shows throughout North America.
“Caterpillar and its dealers have used the CAT Chopper to raise money for a variety of charities nationwide,” said Jay Alexander of the Caterpillar North American Commercial Division. “It is fitting that we help such a worthy program as the Victory Junction Gang Camp.”
In addition to the chopper’s near celebrity status, it is unique in its incorporation of Caterpillar equipment design elements. After the build, Paul Teutul Jr., OCC’s chief designer and fabricator, said, “Being around the construction industry before, we know that the Cat brand carries a legacy of quality, strength and toughness … the same things we now strive for at OCC. The CAT Chopper is definitely the biggest, toughest and most rugged bike we’ve ever done.”
For more information, visit www.cat.com.
For more information on Victory Junction Gang Camp, visit www.victoryjunction.org.