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January 1, 2017

Racing For Kids® Closes Out Successful Year, Eyes Bright Future

by Racing For Kids

When 2017 was welcomed last night at the stroke of midnight, Racing For Kids® capped off the busiest year in its 27 year history. That is because 2016 saw Racing For Kids drivers from more racing series spend more time with more children in more hospitals than ever before.

In the past year, Racing For Kids successfully kicked off its first year as The Official Charity of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series, while maintaining its long-standing relationship with the Verizon INDYCAR Series and expanding its reach with the Historic Sportscar Racing Series. Nearly 2500 kids were visited in 25 hospitals by over 70 professional race car drivers.

In August, Racing For Kids launched the “Fregin Flyers” Red Wagon Campaign through the generosity of Doug Fregin, co-founder of Research In Motion, and the Fregin Family Foundation.

In this program, Racing For Kids donates specially equipped red wagons to selected Children’s hospitals. These Radio Flyer wagons have been specially adapted to accommodate hospitalized children with cumbersome IV set ups, helping them to move easily around the hospital to physical therapy sessions, playrooms, treatment centers, doctor’s appointments or special indoor and outdoor events such as a Racing For Kids visit.

These wagons have adaptive seating and specially machined IV equipment holders attached to the body of the wagons. The initial wagon presentation was to Detroit’s St. John Providence Hospital’s Pediatric Department.

Long-time Racing For Kids corporate sponsor TranSystems and its employees made generous donations raised from the company’s annual Kansas City golf outing and employee-sponsored “FunDrive”. The company has raised more than $400,000 for Racing For Kids in its 12 year partnership.

The final Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach took place in April.  The event has raised millions since 1991, most of which, has been donated to Southern California Children’s Hospitals.

Unfortunately 2016 was the last year for the Pro Celebrity Race ending a 26 year partnership with Toyota Motorsports. However, Racing For Kids plans to continue its partnership with the Long Beach Grand Prix Association Foundation in 2017.

The Humana Foundation-and its CEO Mike McCallister again played a major role in Racing For Kids activities this past year as did the aforementioned Doug Fregin, as well as Benson Ford, Lynn & Paul Alandt and longtime Racing For Kids partners Firestone Racing and The Bridgestone Firestone Foundation.