CARA Charities' Events Raise More Than $40,000 for da Matta Recovery Famed Road America Proves A Great Backdrop For Tailgate Party, Bicycle Ride SPEEDWAY, Ind. (September 28, 2006) -- Champ Car fans turned out in force at the famed Road America...
CARA Charities' Events Raise More Than $40,000 for da Matta Recovery
Famed Road America Proves A Great Backdrop For Tailgate Party, Bicycle Ride
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (September 28, 2006) -- Champ Car fans turned out in force at the famed Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., last Friday and Saturday to aid CARA Charities in its fundraising activities to "Support the Recovery Efforts of Cristiano da Matta."
RuSPORT driver da Matta suffered serious head injuries when his car hit a deer during testing at the scenic Wisconsin track on August 3. He underwent surgery, recovery and rehabilitation at the Theda Clark Medical Center in nearby Neenah, Wisconsin following the incident and was able to return home to Miami for further rehabilitation just one day prior to the start of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America weekend. On Friday evening, Sept. 22, the hospitality area at Road America was filled with hundreds of fans, team members, drivers and Champ Car personnel as the Champ Car Tailgate Party kicked off the evening of fundraising.
Great food, fellowship and lively music set the tone as twilight fell over the track. The RuSPORT tent was the site of the silent auction featuring dozens of autographed items and memorabilia. Everything from driving gloves to a full race simulator was available for some frantic bidding action. It was difficult to move in the area as the clock ticked down to the end of the auction and fans waited to get that winning number on the bid sheet. The following evening CARA Charities teamed with RuSPORT to conduct the "CARA Cruise for Cristiano."
This event allowed the public to ride their bicycles alongside the stars of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car Series Powered by Ford as well as drivers from the Champ Car Atlantic Series. Fans were able to tour the 4.048-mile Road America layout in spite of heavy rains that fell just prior to the event. In fact, just as the Cruise was set to begin, the skies began to clear and a rare double rainbow appeared over the track.
The auction and the bicycle "Cruise" were coupled with sales of "Kiki -- Push Please" t-shirts as well as an exciting weekend Champ Car race package provided by Bridgestone that was auctioned on Ebay. All of these efforts combined with donations raised more than $40,000 to support Cristiano as he continues his amazing recovery.
CARA Charities' President Vicki Faivre was thrilled with the results from the weekend. "We could not have achieved such an amazing outcome without the help and support of Bridgestone, Champ Car, the teams, drivers, hospitality staffs, Abler Meats and Chalk Hill Winery," said Farivre. "On behalf of CARA I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of these events."
CARA Charities, founded in 1981 by Betty Rutherford and the women of open-wheel racing, has distributed over $4 million dollars to numerous racing and community organizations. CARA serves the community through charitable work and promotes the friendship of all those involved in the motor sports family. Led by executive director Mary Lou Bogner, CARA Charities hosted a variety of charitable events during the 2006 racing season.