Racing For Kids brightened the day and the rooms of more than 100 hospitalized youngsters in Children’s Hospital of Michigan this week. For the 2nd year in a row, the suburban Detroit based auto racing children’s charity delivered individual “Night Light Projector” gifts to the youngsters, some of whom may be spending the holidays in […]
Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa has been a favorite stop for Racing For Kids® ever since The Verizon INDYCAR Series began racing at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. But this year’s visit was in serious jeopardy when a combination of changing plane schedules and sponsor obligations made it difficult for racers to spend time with the eager young patients at the popular Iowa hospital.
Then to the rescue came Indy Lights Series star Zach Veach , who when he learned of the dire situation at Blank, said: “We’ll make it happen.”
With the Racing For Kids® visit a priority. Zach altered his schedule making the 450 mile trek from Indianapolis to the Iowa Speedway earlier than planned. There he dropped off his crew and then hustled the 40 mile distance to Blank Children’s Hospital to greet a late afternoon gathering of excited young inpatients.
Once there, he was his usual affable self: engaging each child, signing his hero cards as well as the red Racing For Kids baseball caps and bringing smiles and laughter to kids.
“Zach did an awesome job,” said Lori De Vries, Child Life Specialist at Blank. “He did a great job of talking to the patient and answering all of their questions about racing and how fast he went……They really enjoyed his visit and learning about Indy Racing.”
Zach’s response was his usual “oh, no big deal” when assessing his visit. But to the youngsters he engaged, many of whom are enduring difficult, painful and protracted medical procedures, it was a very big deal. The hour they spent with Zach was a welcome respite from their daily routine.
This weekend, Zach is looking for his second Indy Lights Series win in three races and his third straight podium finish. If he needs a competitive edge, it will come from a hospital full of new, young fans in Des Moines, who will be cheering for him when he takes the green flag Sunday afternoon in the Indy Lights Iowa Challenge.