Maple Grove Raceway had and still has so many fantastic employees who are always at the track. Who have become a normal sight week after week for the racers. While there are so many different individuals on the weekly payroll, there was one man who stood out.
This gentleman’s presence has became the norm in the staging lanes for the past 23 years. That is not a misprint, 23 years of service at Maple Grove. He started his time out by operating a tow truck. Of course just like with other things in life, one thing led to another and he started working in the lanes. As a staging lanes employee, you are like the nervous system of the racetrack. A busy, chaotic environment that requires you to always be on your game in order to keep the race running.
Many knew this gentleman for his friendly smile, his passionate personality, his caring heart or his unfaltering commitment. Everyone has a different story to tell or memory to share. But if you ask anyone, there will be one common theme, he is a member of their racing family.
Mark Carey was more than an employee at Maple Grove Raceway. He was and will always be a member of our family. Mark overcame struggles of monumental proportions, but never once let that hold him down. He would show up early each weekend with a warm smile on his face and a friendly “good morning”.
For his years of dedication, commitment, hard work and teamwork, Maple Grove Raceway presented Mr. Mark Carey with a 2017 Appreciation Award. Even though Mark was unable to attend the Money Trail Awards banquet, the management team personally presented him with the award a week prior.
During the Money Trail Awards banquet Saturday, February 3rd, the staff, racers and employees could feel Mark smiling down. While he is missed, we could all agree that he is in a better place now that allows him to not suffer. When Mark was presented his Appreciation Award, the management team informed him that they would be making the Awards Banquet available through Facebook Live. Just for him! He was excited and kept expressing how much he could not wait to see it. Just a few days later on January 29th, however, Mark was called home. Even though he did not get the opportunity to watch the Facebook Live video, he was with everyone in there hearts and in the empty chair next to the stage. Where a picture frame sat so he could watch all his friends and family be honored for a fantastic 2017 season.
The team at Maple Grove wanted to do something for Mark’s father and brother. To give them something that would serve as a constant reminder of just how much he was loved by everyone at Maple Grove. During the banquet, a circular table held up an enlarged photograph of Mark Carey giving his signature smirk to the camera. A large white mat surrounded the photograph and everyone in attendance was asked to sign. By the end of the night the entire mat was covered in black ink. On Monday morning, Maple Grove presented this frame to Mark’s brother and father during the memorial service.
Thank you Mark Carey for all your work over the past 23 years, your presence at the track will be greatly missed.