IRL: California: Sam Schmidt Foundation entertains patients

Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation to entertain patients from Casa Colina Center for Rehabilitation At California Speedway on Saturday. FONTANA, Calif., March 21 - The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) will entertain approximately 50 people...

Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation to entertain patients from Casa Colina Center for Rehabilitation At California Speedway on Saturday.

FONTANA, Calif., March 21 - The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) will entertain approximately 50 people associated with the Casa Colina Center for Rehabilitation in Pomona, Calif., this Saturday at California Speedway here as part of its "Disability Day" program in conjunction with the Yamaha Indy 400 Indy Racing League event.

The effort is part of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation's program to provide a behind-the-scenes look at Indy car racing for spinal-cord-injury patients and their families.

The SSPF's guests will enjoy lunch in the infield and one-on-one conversations with Schmidt and Richie Hearn, who is pinch-hitting for Anthony Lazzaro in the Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special #99 for this race. (Lazzaro, who was injured in the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway last Sunday, is expected to be back behind the wheel of the #99 at Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pa. on April 21.)

They'll also get a close look at the car itself and they'll be able to enjoy both qualifying for the IRL race at 11 a.m. and the four-hour Rolex 400 Grand Am race that follows.

"We want to thank California Speedway for the access they've provided for these patients," Schmidt said. "We also want to thank Outback Steakhouse for generously catering our lunch."

Schmidt was a top Indy car driver until he was paralyzed in a test crash on Jan. 6, 2000. He is currently an Indy car team owner. He is also the founder of the SSPF, which strives to improve the quality of life of paralysis patients and also raise funds for medical research and treatment of spinal cord injuries.

Anyone wishing to donate to the SSPF, a 501(C)3 not-for-profit foundation, may do so by sending a check made out to the foundation and mailing it to: The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, 411 Dorman St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46202-3647.

To learn more about the SSPF, see its Web site at www.samschmidt.org.

-sspf-

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About this article
Series Charity , IndyCar
Drivers Richie Hearn , Sam Schmidt