Skywest’s annual ‘Mini Indy’ raises funds for community programs

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ST. GEORGE, Utah - Companies from across the globe came to southern Utah Friday to compete in the annual SkyWest Airlines Mini Indy. The go kart race is a fundraiser for local charities, but the racers say it’s a fierce competition.

The Mini Indy started 15 years ago. The teams are made up of SkyWest employees, airline business partners, and local companies. Racers said its something they look forward to all year.

“Twenty-two miles per hour, that close to the ground, it’s very intense,” said Embraer Aerospace account manager Fred Reina. “We’d like to leave here with all the trophies of course, but there’s a lot of competition here, and you kind of keep your fingers crossed.”

Thirty teams compete in different heats, and then in a grand champion race. While it is primarily a fundraiser, companies use it as a team building exercise. Teams are required to perform pit stops, where they learn to work together under pressure.

“I think you can feel the excitement. If you’re here, it’s palatable,” said SkyWest Vice President of People Lori Hunt. “For SkyWest specifically, we’re able to bring in teams for SkyWest, employees that are the best of the best, and really take care of them.”

Since it’s inception, the Mini Indy has raised more than $1 million for United Way Dixie.

Administrator Rebekah Pectol said those funds go a long way toward giving a helping hand in the community.

“100 percent of it goes to 17 local non profits here in the Washington County area,” Pectol said. “Groups like the volunteer clinic, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the learning center for families.”

Teams compete for various prizes, including the winner of each of the heats, and a grand prize winner. But organizers say the real winners of the Mini Indy are the community members who benefit from it.