Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation news 2009-05-20

Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation's 10th Annual Racing to Recovery Gala Raised Over $250,000 to Fund Paralysis Research The Festive Evening included a Live Auction, Dinner, Drivers, Entertainment, and Awards INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2009) - Each...

Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation's 10th Annual Racing to Recovery Gala Raised Over $250,000 to Fund Paralysis Research
The Festive Evening included a Live Auction, Dinner, Drivers, Entertainment, and Awards

INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2009) - Each year the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation plays host for the Racing to Recovery Gala to celebrate and recognize the achievements of the Foundation, its partners and its supporters. Over 500 people attended the tenth anniversary gala, which helped to raise over $250,000 to fund research to help discover a cure for paralysis and to help those with disabling spinal cord injuries.

Some of IndyCar's most well-known drivers attended, including Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, Raphael Matos, Ed Carpenter, Alex Lloyd, Ana Beatriz, James Hinchcliffe, Gustavo Yacaman and Wade Cunningham.

Arie Luyendyk was presented with the Legendary Driver Award. "Arie was a fierce competitor and won many major races in several forms of motorsports in addition to winning the Indy 500 two times," said Sam Schmidt, Founder of Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. "He is my mentor, my teammate and most importantly, a friend for life."

Jim Oxley, Senior Vice President of Investments of Oxley Financial Advisory Group and Regional Director for Raymond James & Associates was awarded the Partner for a Cure Award. "Jim has been a wonderful friend and trusted advisor to the Foundation since its inception, and at every opportunity, he has gone out of his way to lend support and encouragement," said Ida Cahill, president of The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.

Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock, board member of the foundation, and long-time friend of Schmidt delivered an inspirational keynote about the importance of making a difference in the lives of those with spinal cord injuries Up and coming Nashville Star, Michelle Murray, entertained guests throughout the evening, and dedicated a song to Sam called, "It's Not If But When."

For dessert, Cahill presented Schmidt with a cake replica of the number 99 car that he drove to victory in Las Vegas in 1999. Ida said, "Sam, you've touched my heart and my very soul. And while I can't give you your original number 99 back, I can give you a replica." The three-foot cake was created by the Ritz Charles pastry chef. Part of the event was dedicated to Sam, which included heartwarming notes from friends throughout the country congratulating him on his work and commitment.

Live and silent auctions at the event included vacations, jewelry, wines and racing memorabilia signed by IndyCar and NASCAR drivers. Roger Warrick, a renowned motorsports artist, created a live painting during the evening, which was also auctioned off.

About The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) was started in 2000 by Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt shortly after a practice-run crash left him paralyzed from the chest down. SSPF is leading the charge to cure paralysis by funding scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technological advances, benefiting stroke victims and people diagnosed with ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In addition to initiating local and national advocacy efforts on behalf of those disabled, SSPF funds various quality of life grants to organizations, provides college scholarships for people with spinal cord injuries/paralysis, and funds the national Day at the Races program. The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation is a member of the Spinal Cord Leaders Council. Sam Schmidt was recently recognized by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation with the 2008 Visionary Leader Award, because of his dedication and commitment to funding research and bettering the lives of those who are paralyzed. For more information, visit www.samschmidt.org.

-credit: sspf

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Series Charity
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Scott Dixon , Sam Schmidt , Ryan Briscoe , Wade Cunningham , James Hinchcliffe , Ana Beatriz , Gustavo Yacaman , Ed Carpenter