AMBROSE TO AUCTION SPECIAL CFA HELMET AND SIGNED JACKET FOR BUSH FIRE APPEAL Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose is hoping to make a difference for a volunteer fire brigade that was pushed to the limits during recent devastating Victorian...
AMBROSE TO AUCTION SPECIAL CFA HELMET AND SIGNED JACKET FOR BUSH FIRE APPEAL
Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose is hoping to make a difference for a volunteer fire brigade that was pushed to the limits during recent devastating Victorian bush fires with the auctioning of a 'one off' autographed race helmet and a firefighter's jacket signed by a raft of Sprint Cup Series drivers.
Ambrose, who drives the #47 Little Debbie entry of JTG Daugherty Racing, has been continually promoting the fundraising message for the Australian Red Cross in the United States and Australia through the general media and a direct link from his website, MarcosAmbrose.com.
The Australian driver will wear a helmet donated by Impact and painted especially by American Nick Pastura in this weekend's Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, at the Goody's Fast Relief 500 in Martinsville and the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway on April 5.
He will also auction a firefighter's jacket actually worn in the 'Black Saturday' fires and signed by the majority of the Sprint Cup Series drivers.
He will launch the campaign to an international television audience of millions at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend and is hoping motorsport fans will dig deep for the Bush Fire cause.
Ambrose decided to take his efforts further this week after discovering that a member of his ever-growing fan base was personally affected by the tragic fires.
Steve Teear was a guest on Ambrose's personal NASCAR fan tour to Charlotte, North Carolina last year and is a member of the Yarra Glen Volunteer Fire Brigade, which is part of the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA).
For almost two weeks, Teear and 20 other active members virtually worked around the clock in their own region, which sadly lost several residents and more than 50 homes in Australia's greatest natural disaster -- which to date has claimed over 200 lives.
One auction will consist of Ambrose's race-worn helmet, painted to replicate Teear's own yellow CFA firefighting helmet. The helmet will be personally autographed by Ambrose with any message requested by the winning bidder.
A second auction will be a Yarra Glen Volunteer Fire Brigade outer jacket, which was worn by Teear during the recent fires and personally signed by all the brigade members as well as the majority of the Sprint Cup Series drivers.
Teear's own CFA helmet has also been signed by all the brigade members and has been presented to Ambrose as a 'thank you' for his personal fund raising efforts.
The money raised from the auction will go towards the purchase of a new 3000-litre four-wheel drive water tanker for the Yarra Glen Volunteer Fire Brigade.
"The job done by Steve, his fellow brigade members and every other CFA volunteer is incredible and a real testament to the Australian spirit when the chips are down," said Ambrose.
"While we have been encouraging donations to the Australian Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal for a few weeks now, I wanted to do something that was a little more personal and that would have a direct benefit.
"We want fans to bid as high as they can to help us get the Yarra Glen brigade to that magical $230,000 mark as quickly as possible.
"If fans get out bid, we would still encourage them to click on the Red Cross link on my website and make a personal donation to the Red Cross Victorian Bush Fire Appeal."
Fans will be able to register and bid for both auction items through www.marcosambrose.com with the auction closing at midnight on Monday 6 April 2009, Australian Eastern Time (10:00am US Eastern on Monday 6 April 2009).
The total amount raised will be awarded directly to the Yarra Glen Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Teear said he was thrilled when contacted by Ambrose and asked how he could help.
"There is no doubt that Marcos is one of Australia's greatest sportsmen and what he is achieving in NASCAR is nothing short of spectacular and something every Aussie motorsport fan is proud of," said Teear.
"His commitment to the public fundraising efforts was almost immediate, but his personal gesture to our own Yarra Glen Fire Brigade is overwhelming.
"We know how generous motorsport fans can be and hopefully we will have a few people digging deep to be the highest bidder on Marcos' helmet and the Yarra Glen CFA outer jacket.
"The money raised will go towards the purchase of the brigade's second water tanker and it would be great if we could reach our overall target of $230,000 over the coming months and maybe have Marcos officially unveil the vehicle when he returns to Australia at the end of the year."