SOURCE: Racing For Kids

January 22, 2008 07:07 ET

Racing For Kids Donates $200K to Child Healthcare in 2007

Visits 2,500 Sick Kids at 25 Hospitals

GROSSE POINTE FARMS, MI--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - Racing For Kids, a national charity, which uses motorsports to focus public attention and funding on the healthcare needs of children, donated $200,000 last year to children's hospitals and child health organizations in the United States. In addition, the Racing For Kids team of celebrity racecar drivers visited more than 2,500 children at 25 children's hospitals in the US and Japan during the 2007 racing season.

Racing For Kids, which holds a variety of fundraisers during the year, is supported by donations from Humana, Inc., the Toyota Motor Sales USA, the Long Beach Grand Prix, sanofi-aventis, Bridgestone Firestone Foundation, TranSystems, Inc., I-Rex Corp., Benson Ford, Jr., great-grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, and hundreds of other corporate and individual donors.

"The generosity of the business and racing community has been outstanding," said William Pinsky, MD, Racing For Kids founder. "We want to recognize our corporate partners and our team of celebrity racers who visit the hospitals with us."

Drivers making visits in the past year include IndyCar drivers Buddy Rice, Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick, Indy Pro Series racers Tom Wieringa and Ryan Justice, plus members of the Star Mazda Racing series and celebrities racing in the Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach.

"Doctors, who care for these youngsters, say that these visits are an important part of each child's recovery therapy," said Pinsky, a pediatric cardiologist.

According to J. Patrick Wright, Racing For Kids executive director, the majority of the donations were earmarked for hospital playroom development or for a specific need identified by each institution. Wright notes that "The Child Life specialists we work with at the hospitals tell us that the best medicine doesn't always come from a prescription bottle... sometimes it's a game or toy or craft project that helps a child to forget that he or she might be in pain or lonely or frightened."

In 19 years, Racing For Kids has visited with nearly 16,000 children in more than 380 hospitals in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico. During that time, RFK has donated more than $5 million in funds and in-kind gifts to the hospitals visited and to other child healthcare institutions.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Kathleen Conway
    313-882-3403
    or Ron Hingst
    734-662-5544