IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: CARA donates to Methodist Hospital's Children Fund

CARA CHARITIES CONTINUES METHODIST HOSPITAL DONATION WITH SHIRLEY BETTENHAUSEN CHILDREN'S FUND Since 1988, Motor Sports Charity Contributes $10,000 Annually To Help Children ...

CARA CHARITIES CONTINUES METHODIST HOSPITAL DONATION WITH SHIRLEY BETTENHAUSEN CHILDREN'S FUND

Since 1988, Motor Sports Charity Contributes $10,000 Annually To Help Children

INDIANAPOLIS (OCT. 27, 2006) -- Thanks to CARA Charities, every child admitted to Methodist Hospital of Indianapolis receives a toy of their choice.

Despite the grief of entering the hospital as a patient, every child's face lights up when the CARA toy cart is rolled into his or her room.

Founded in 1988, the CARA Charities Children's Fund has given $10,000 annually to Methodist Hospital for its Adolescent Child Life division for the purchase of gifts presented to each child at hospital admission and for birthdays, funds for holidays, parties and special events.

The dollars donated to the Children's Fund are proceeds from the sale of the annual CARA Charities' racing car drivers and owners designed Christmas Ornaments.

This year's designer is Danica Patrick, the 2005 Indy 500 and IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year. Patrick was the first women driver to lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500 when she paced 17 laps in the 2005 500-Mile Race.

Over the past 18 years, a variety of famous racers have designed their own CARA Christmas Ornament including Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Jr., Mario and Michael Andretti, Paul Newman, Helio Castroneves, Emerson Fittipaldi, Arie Luyendyk, Bobby Rahal and Gil de Ferran.

"Without CARA Charities theAdolescent, Child Life Program at Methodist Hospital would be nothing," said Debra Bussard,Adolescent, Child Life specialist for Methodist Hospital. "Because of this fund children in the hospital are comforted and can play due to the toys CARA and theAdolescent, Child Life Program can provide."

In addition, the annual CARA Indy Fashion Show produces additional funding for the Methodist Hospital Children's Fund.

In February 2000 and in respect for the driving force behind the Children's Fund, the fund's name was changed to honor the late Shirley Bettenhausen, a former CARA Charities president. Bettenhausen was a longtime CARA member who participated in a variety of charitable activities each year.

Children's health and safety issues have been a primary focus for CARA Charities since the motor sports charity organization was formed in 1981.

CARA Charities is currently in the planning stages for its 2007 fundraiser's and will announce its charity programs in the near future including the Shirley Bettenhausen Methodist Hospital Children's Fund.

For further information on CARA Charities, call (317) 299-2277 or go online at www.caracharities.org.

-credit: cara

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Series Charity , IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Bobby Rahal , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , Paul Newman , Emerson Fittipaldi , Danica Patrick