When reflecting on her return to the drag strip in support of her namesake charity, Shirley’s Kids, four-time Top Fuel champion and motorsports icon Shirley Muldowney has one overwhelming memory.
“My little buddy Silas was such a doll, he’s going to be a real heart-breaker one day,” she said, referring to the newest Shirley’s Kid recipient Silas Kline. “He was so sweet to all the drivers when they came over to say hello during driver intros and that cute smile never left his face. We picked an awesome kid, for sure.”
Founded by restaurateur Stan Holt and his wife Sheila, Shirley’s Kids is a 501(c)(3) charity with a stated goal of helping kids in needs at various stops on the NHRA tour. It’s designed as a way for Muldowney to say “thank you” to the communities that supported her and NHRA drag racing for years.
The son of (Ret.) U.S. Army Sergeant Jason Kline and his wife Aylssa of Colorado Springs, 4-year-old Silas suffers from Autism. To help the family, which includes siblings Wesley and Onaleee, prepare for the home schooling Silas will require in the coming years, Shirley’s Kids presented them with a check for $5,000.
“I was contacted about being selected as a prize winner of tickets for the race and a chance to meet Shirley Muldowney,” Aylssa Kline said. “We were super excited about that. Then we get there and they take us up to the starting line and the kids got to meet all the drivers and get autographs. That was way more than we expected.
“All of a sudden they call Silas up on stage with Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Sheila Holt and out comes this giant check and I was just stunned. I immediately started crying. It’s such a huge deal for us and we can’t thank JEGS, Lupe Tortilla, Stan and Sheila Holt and, of course, Shirley Muldowney, enough. This is a day we’ll never forget. Silas already wants to go back to another race with ‘Ms. Sheila.'”
In addition to meeting all of the top pros, the Klines met twin brothers Marcus and Morgan Luttrell, former Navy Seals, with Marcus the author of Lone Survivor, as well as J.R. Martinez, the former Army soldier who won season 13 of Dancing with the Stars.
“Those young men really showed Silas he can overcome anything,” Muldowney said. “They inspired all of us.”
Supported by companies across the racing spectrum, Shirley’s Kids is underwritten by the Holts so all proceeds can be distributed to families in need. To get involved, make a contribution or to find out more about Shirley’s Kid’s, please visit www.ShirleysKids.org.
Shirley’s Kids supporter Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shirley Muldowney and
Sheila Holt present Silas Kline and family with a check for $5,000.
The Kline family accepts the $5,000 check Shirley Muldowney and Sheila Holt.