IRL: Sam Schmidt Foundation Formed to Support Spinal Cord Injuries

SAM SCHMIDT FOUNDATION FORMED TO SUPPORT SPINAL CORD INJURIES; FIRST FUND-RAISER SET FOR APRIL 20 AT ORLEANS CASINO IN LAS VEGAS INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Sam Schmidt Foundation, a foundation named for Indy Racing League (IRL) driver Sam Schmidt,...

SAM SCHMIDT FOUNDATION FORMED TO SUPPORT SPINAL CORD INJURIES; FIRST FUND-RAISER SET FOR APRIL 20 AT ORLEANS CASINO IN LAS VEGAS

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Sam Schmidt Foundation, a foundation named for Indy Racing League (IRL) driver Sam Schmidt, has been formed, it was announced today by the Foundation's Chairman Jeff Jones. The Sam Schmidt Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, has been established at Schmidt's request to help individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses.

Schmidt currently is recovering from serious upper spine injuries suffered in a Jan. 6 accident while practicing for the season-opening IRL race at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, FL. He is suffering from paralysis of the arms and legs, but has shown improvements in his neurologic function since starting an advanced rehabilitative program designed for him by Dr. John McDonald at the Neurorehabilitative Unit at the Washington University School of Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.

"Since my injury I have learned much about the tremendous needs of people suffering from spinal cord injuries," Schmidt said. "There are three areas on which I have asked the Schmidt Foundation to concentrate their fund-raising efforts to support. The first is research. Second, innovative equipment that can be used for rehabilitation. And, third, I want to help spinal cord injury patients who are caught in between public and private funding, and need help in paying for their rehabilitation."

Jones, a long-time friend of Schmidt's, has been named chairman of the foundation's executive board. He is Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for CollabWare in Pasadena, CA. Other executive board members are: Ed Mattix, chief public relations officer for Sprint PCS in Kansas City, MO, president; Scott Cronk, vice president of business development for Treadway Racing in Indianapolis, secretary; and Marvin Schmidt, Sam's father, treasurer.

The Sam Schmidt Foundation also has named several members to an advisory board, including: Fred Treadway, owner of Treadway Racing; two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk; Tom Kelley, owner of Kelley Racing and Kelley Automotive Group in Fort Wayne, IN; Ruthie Culbertson, public relations director for Treadway Racing; Kimberly Hobbs, manager of corporate sponsorships for Sprint Corporation in Kansas City; and Pat Rummerfield, injury prevention performance assessment coordinator at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Jones also announced the formation of a separate organization, the Sam Schmidt Family Trust. The Trust will raise funds and accept contributions for the direct support of Schmidt and his family. Anyone wishing to contribute to the Sam Schmidt Foundation or the Sam Schmidt Family Trust can send their checks to the Sam Schmidt Foundation, PO Box # 681484, Indianapolis, IN 46268

The first major fund-raising effort for the Foundation and Trust will be held at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas, NV, on April 20 from 6-10 p.m., just prior to the next Indy Racing League race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The casual, racing fan-oriented party will be held poolside at the Orleans and is open to everyone. Arie Luyendyk and several current IRL drivers are expected to attend. Cost is $10 per person and includes food and one free drink, along with a live band. Door prizes will be awarded and a raffle will be held to raise funds.

For more information on the Schmidt Foundation and the Schmidt Family Trust visit the Treadway Racing website at www.treadwayracing.com.

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Series IndyCar , General
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Sam Schmidt , Jeff Jones