The long awaited return of Racing For Kids to the Hill was all the more thrilling and enjoyable this year because of all the obstacles that needed to be overcome to bring it back for its 15th year! Uncertainty over the pandemic, a fire in our building the week before – we had a lot […]
Six Mazda Road To Indy Drivers today brought laughter, smiles and unexpected excitement into the lives of 35 patients at Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. It was the third annual Racing For Kids® stop at the highly regarded hospital which treats children and youth living with disability, medically complex illness and injury.
But for a morning, the young drivers took the Holland Bloorview kids’ minds off of their medical issues as their engaged each patient in racing conversation, assisted them in a ‘specialty’ license plate drawing contest, coached them in a remote control car and truck racing ‘contest,’ talked about the upcoming Honda Indy Toronto before posing for pictures and autographing their hero cards.
Several drivers brought their actual racing helmets to show the youngsters with a number of kids taking the opportunity to try on the helmets to get an inside glimpse of life in an open wheel racecar.
Toronto native, Dalton Kellett, an Andretti Autosport Indy Lights racer and Racing For Kids® Team veteran, led the visit which included his Andretti Autosport teammate and Indy Lights racer Colton Herta, as well as drivers from the Pro Mazda Series. Those drivers were Oliver Askew and Nikita Lastochkin from Cape Racing as well as Team Pelfrey’s Sting Ray Robb and Rinus VeeKay.
The outdoor event found moms and dads eagerly pushing their wheelchair-bound children from driver to driver to be sure they had their Racing For Kids caps and hero cards signed by all of the racers. Russian native Lastochkin, and VeeKay from the Netherlands, added an international flavor to the delight of the kids and their parents.
For all of the drivers except Kellett and Lastochkin, this was their first Racing For Kids® event. An animated VeeKay offered a driver consensus on the importance of their visit to the Holland Bloorview Hospital: “These kids really enjoy having us spend some time with them,” he said. “Look at their smiles and the excitement. I am so glad we could be here. I want to do this again.”