DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 17, 2001) - With the Rolex 24 At Daytona only weeks away, the MSN website is featuring one of the contenders in the GT class, however not for their racing abilities as much as their giving heart. Team Seattle is the ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 17, 2001) - With the Rolex 24 At Daytona only weeks away, the MSN website is featuring one of the contenders in the GT class, however not for their racing abilities as much as their giving heart. Team Seattle is the focus of an interactive feature on its fundraising efforts at the Rolex 24 At Daytona for the Seattle Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center.
In its four years of "Racing for Children," Team Seattle has raised nearly $800,000 for the hospital, which funds the treatment of children whose parents are unable to afford care. Money is raised by securing donations for each lap the team completes during the race. Contributions range from five cents to $24 a lap, which quickly adds up when you consider last year's class winner completed more than 650 laps during the twice-around-the-clock race.
"When my wife and I started this, we never dreamed it could grow this much," Team Seattle founder Don Kitch said. "I have always linked a charitable organization to my racing, but the success of this program is unbelievable. It's contagious. Doing this has become a passion driven by the kids for everyone on the team."
Team Seattle completely funds the cost of racing its two Porsche GT3 Rs through private and corporate funding, completely separate from the Children's Hospital fundraising efforts. All pledges go directly to support the "Team Seattle For Children at the Daytona 24 Endowment." This year's goal is to race with $500 per lap in pledges, which will top the $1 million mark for the team's effort.
Team Seattle is not the only Grand-Am team lending a hand to children. Team Amick Motorsports has joined forces with Grant-A-Wish for the "Hands on Racing" program to provide children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to attend races across the country. Local children are invited to participate in the program, which allows them to experience the excitement of sports car racing from the pits. Each child is also asked to dip their hands in paint and place their handprints on the car prior to the race.
Grand-Am also gives teams an opportunity to contribute part of their prize-money purse to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps founded by Paul Newman, who races at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The camps offer children with cancer and other serious blood diseases a place to enjoy an old-fashioned camping experience free of charge. Currently, seven Grand-Am teams have decided to donate to the The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, which is comprised of seven camps in three countries.
The MSN feature on Team Seattle can be found online at www.carpoint.msn.com. The Grant-A-Wish Foundation can be found online at www.grant-a-wish.org. Information on The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps is available at www.holeinthewallgang.org. More information on the Grand-Am Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.