Actor-director Reeve to attend paralysis benefit gala May 12

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 7, 2003 -- Two of the leading national proponents of spinal-cord injury research, actor-director Christopher Reeve and Indy Racing League team owner Sam Schmidt, will be featured guests during "Racing to Recovery, an Evening with Christopher Reeve" on May 12 in Indianapolis.

The gala event takes place from 6-10 p.m. (EST) at Standard Management Corporation Headquarters, 10689 N. Pennsylvania St. It will benefit the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana.

The event is sponsored by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and catered by Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

"Racing to Recovery" features cocktails, a lavish strolling dinner buffet provided by Ruth's Chris Steak House and a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind merchandise donated by many different celebrities and businesses. Noted motorsports artist Bill Patterson also will be on hand and will create an original oil painting during the gala, which will be auctioned off that night.

Tickets are $199 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (317) 281-0423 or e-mail

A limited number of tickets also are available for a once-in-a-lifetime private reception with Reeve before the gala. Available for purchase at $1,000 each, they include gala admission.

The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) raises funds for medical research and rehabilitation for people impacted by paralysis. Schmidt, an IRL driver who was paralyzed in a racing accident on Jan. 6, 2000, founded the 501(c)3 organization. In addition to guiding the foundation, he owns an IRL Infiniti Pro Series team.

The Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI), one of the facilities where Schmidt was hospitalized after his accident, is one of the few freestanding rehabilitation hospitals in Indiana. It has the backing of two of the largest and most respected organizations in the state: Clarian Health Partners and St. Vincent Hospitals & Health Services.

The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) is committed to funding research that develops treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal-cord injury and other central nervous system disorders. The foundation also vigorously works to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

Raymond James & Associates is the presenting sponsor of the gala, and U.S. Health Services and Standard Management are serving as hosts. Anthem, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, Clarian Health Partners, Medtronic and Toyota Motor Sales USA are among the other companies providing additional support.