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Clarkson Media Team Brightens Sunrayce With Visit To Georgia Girl

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (6/27/99) - Choosing to save their battery power to race another day, the Clarkson Solar Knights today trailered their car to the finish line in stage seven of Sunrayce '99. While other teams began the race, all but two were forced to stop because of torrential downpours and dead batteries. When the day ended only Queen's University (Canada) and the University of Missouri at Rolla were able to travel from Macon, Ga. to Tallahassee, Florida - a distance of 199 miles. (At the end of yesterday the team remained in 15th place.)

While the Solar Knights battled the weather, Clarkson's second team, themedia advance team, greeted hundreds of visitors at Sylvester, Ga. wherethe community came out to greet the Clarkson representatives who have beentaking their 1995 car ahead of the race for display. For three hours theClarkson group informed and entertained the Georgia residents telling "racestories", extolling the virtues of solar energy and bemoaning a Sunraycewith no sun.

Ledford is confined to a wheelchair and recently underwent 17 hours ofsurgery. The Clarkson team pulled its van and trailer up to her Bridgeborohome and with the aid of Ledford's parents and grandparents, whotransported her wheelchair to the solar car, the team provided Jessica witha personal demonstration of solar vehicles. The team also presented Jessicawith solar cell signed by the team.

Potsdam resident and Clarkson employee Peter Belmore, who is accompanyingthe advance team to Florida commented on the visit saying, "This is awonderful show of Clarkson spirit. Even when the students are discouragedbecause the race has been going so poorly and all they see is rain, theytake the time to brighten someone else's day."

Student Melanie Redick was a personification of that spirit when she gaveLedford her only Sunrayce t-shirt she had received as a memento of thetrip. "I figured she needed it more than I did," Redick said. "Seeing hersmile was the first sunshine I saw all week."


[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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