Baby Dino’s Road Trip Saved from Brink of Extinction
Little Draven was all set for his first road trip from his home in New York to Virginia, where he was about to appear at a fundraising gala in Fredericksburg.
Excitement was tempered with uncertainty after his transportation arrangements fell through at the last minute. What’s a 20-foot-long, 240-pound “baby” Tyrannosaurus Rex to do?
Just in the nick of time, a Good Samaritan came forward to donate a Penske rental truck to transport Draven to the fundraiser benefitting the Institute for the Performing Arts, organizers of “Travel Through Time,” an educational, interactive stage show featuring Draven.
Without the truck, Bill Carroll, CEO and founder of the Institute for the Performing Arts (IPA), said he wasn’t too sure how to get his not-too-tiny dinosaur to his debut. “It was very intense,” Carroll explained.
Based in Fredericksburg, IPA was created to offer performing arts training while at the same time equipping students with the necessary skills to put on a show – offering everything from performance to lighting, sound and special effects instruction.
When word reached Bryan Rock and Jayson Silvera of Fredericksburg, VA-based Project Management and Consulting, the company’s PMC Courier division decided to help by paying for a week-long truck rental to support Carroll’s mission to bring the arts to the area.
“Bill is a staple in the community, and after investigating his efforts through his nonprofit, we decided that we would be a part of it and give back to the community in that way,” Rock said. “Bill’s idea for the Institute and efforts in education and the arts is commendable, and our footing the bill for the truck was a small token of appreciation for those efforts.”
The gala was to be a coming out part for Draven as well as “Travel Through Time, ” an hour-long show where the audience journeys to the time of Pirates and their treasures, Ireland with the Viking Adventure, China and the Dragon King or enjoy the expedition to the North Pole during their Christmas special.
The show features ground-shaking sound, breathtaking lighting sequences, 3-D video projection, life-size baby dinosaurs, exciting high-tech robots and amazing special effects.
While the “Jurassic Park” version of T-Rex may be imposing, Draven has a much gentler side, Carroll said.
Draven has his own connection to the movie.
Before Draven was built, Carroll said consultants from the “Jurassic Park” movie provided input so that he was constructed to the correct size and even skin thickness of a real T-Rex.
Draven will make appearances at comic conventions and trade shows. “We brought him down to debut him to the world at the gala at the Stafford Regional Airport,” Carroll said.
After the gala, Draven was driven back to the New York lab so that more work could be done on him. Along the way, he made appearances at rest stops and department store parking lots, where passers-by made more than a casual double-take at the sight of a T-Rex in the back of a Penske truck.
Carroll reflected on the trip with thanks to Rock and PMC Courier for donating the use of the Penske truck.
“Every step of the way, it was positive,” Carroll said of his Penske experience. “They gave me a brand new truck. It was the smoothest riding truck.”
By Bernie Mixon