(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) Mar. 15, 2001 -Long time supporters of Racing for Kids, a charity that raises awareness of children's healthcare issues from coast to coast, the Barber Dodge Pro Series today names the organization its Official Charity. Founded by Dr. William Pinsky, a Skip Barber Racing School graduate as a way to raise awareness for Children's Hospitals in 1989, the charity really got its legs when Dr. Pinsky met 1989 Barber Pro Series Champion Robbie Buhl. Since then the relationship between the Pro Series and Racing for Kids has continued to blossom.
"I have always admired the Skip Barber organization," said Racing For Kids founder Dr. William Pinsky. "This relationship with Skip Barber Racing allows us to be involved with young racers who will carry this understanding of the needs of children healthcare with them throughout their careers. In addition, it affords us the opportunity to spread our message to additional racing venues across North America."
A cornerstone of the Racing for Kids program is the hospital visits made by the drivers at the pediatric wards of hospitals in race markets across the country. Since its inception, Barber Dodge Pro Series drivers have been counted among the CART, IRNLS, NASCAR and sportscar drivers who have brought a dose of autoracing right into the hospitals. In 1998 Racing For Kids and the Barber Dodge Pro Series created a points fund for drivers who participated in Racing For Kids programs. Drivers who ran a Racing For Kids decal on their Dodge Reynards were eligible for a contingency awarded to the highest finishing driver in the final standings.
The association continued to grow at end of the 2000 season when Racing For Kids sponsored the final round at the Homestead Miami Speedway. On that occasion, several dozen children from the cancer ward at Miami Children's Hospital attended the race giving the ceremonial command to start engines. The Racing For Kids hospitality bus has also been a feature of the Pro Series paddock the past few seasons at the CART FedEx Detroit Grand Prix, playing host to children from the Detroit Children's Hospital.
"We are so proud of this association with Racing For Kids because it's one of those things were a sport gives something back to the communities they visit," said Jeremy Dale, Managing Director of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. "It's fitting that the Pro Series which is about cultivating young talent can bring some happiness and excitement to kids that in some cases aren't much younger than the drivers themselves."
The Barber Dodge Pro Series will continue to support the hospital visits along with greater Racing For Kids branding on all of the Barber Dodge Reynard racecars among other placements. Racing For Kids mission is to raise public awareness for the healthcare needs of children. In 2000, the Barber Dodge Pro Series raced in front of more than 1 million people and was viewed nationally and internationally on ESPN 2 and ESPN International by well over 3 million viewers.
In addition, the Barber Dodge Pro Series will team up with Racing For Kids in selected fund raising efforts. All fines levied during the 2001 season will go directly to Racing For Kids. Learn more about Racing For Kids at www.racingforkids.org.