Dick Trickle was an icon in auto racing and the entire sports world mourned at his passing in May of 2013. To this day, stories of Trickle continue to be shared among the racing community.
Some of Trickle's friends, family and fellow competitors have gotten together to create “The Dick Trickle Memorial Project.” Through the use of their Facebook page, the group is raising money to create a memorial in Dick’s original hometown of Rudolph, Wisconsin.
Tom Reffner, who raced with Trickle throughout the late 60’s to the late 80’s, is one of a few people spearheading this project.
The memorial will be erected in the Village of Rudolph Park that will include a life-size statue of Trickle along with a memorial wall celebrating his years in racing.
“The memorial is going to be designed by Mike Martino and I think it will be a great tribute to Dick,” Reffner told 51. “It will give many people an opportunity to remember him and get to know who he was.”
The project got started when Gary Erickson, a friend and classmate of Trickle, got all of the authorizations from the Village of Rudolph and the Lion’s Club, then opened the bank account.
Erickson and Reffner then got together with John Alft, the President of CWRA (Central Wisconsin Racing Association) to open “The Dick Trickle Memorial Project” Facebook page to create awareness and provide the information for where people can make donations along with sharing their thoughts, stories and photos of the legendary driver.
Marv Marzofka, who drove cars owned by Trickle early in their careers, also jumped on board to help with the project.
Reffner said that the Facebook page is going to be the main area where people can check on the progress of the project. They will also use the page to provide the followers an open transparency of the donations coming in and showing how those donations are going directly to the funding of the memorial.
There isn’t an exact timeline set for when the project will be completed, but Reffner estimates will be a two to three-year project.
For all involved, this is a way to remember a great friend and competitor.
“Dick was better than any of us in the Rudolph, Wisconsin area,” Reffner said. “Chuck Trickle, Dick’s brother, Gary and I have been talking for quite some time about doing something when Dick was alive. When Dick passed away, we all said we better do something. “
The memorial, when completed, will be an everlasting remembrance of one of the greatest drivers in auto racing. The memorial wall that the project coordinators have in the plans will help show the growth of short track racing through the history of Dick Trickle. Reffner noted that Trickle drove more than 200 different cars in his career and the plans are to feature at least 70 different cars through photos embedded on ceramic tiles to support the statue.
As the project progresses, the group hopes to soon give some renditions of what the memorial will look like when complete.
“Dick was born in Rudolph, Wisconsin and lived here until he was 18 or 20 years old. He started with nothing and made it to the big time by his talents and the people who helped him along the way,” Reffner said. “He had many friends, sponsors and fans that supported him throughout the years. He deserves this memorial because he was the one that did it. This is a way for family and friends to remember how they were a part of his life.”
Reffner encourages everyone to like “The Dick Trickle Memorial Project” Facebook page to follow the progress of the memorial. The page does include how to make a donation to the project.
If fans would like to make a donation, please make donation checks payable to: Dick Trickle Memorial, 6846 Meadow View Lane, Rudolph, WI 54475. They are currently not authorized as a tax-deductible charity, but Reffner said they are researching that avenue.