Austin Hatcher Foundation Completes 2nd Season as IMSA ‘Proud Charity’

The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer recently completed its second season as a “Proud Charity” of the International Motor Sports Association, an affiliation that is rooted in the foundation’s previous status of being the American Le Mans Series’ “Official Charity.”

The affiliation with the ALMS ran from 2009-2013. When the ALMS merged with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2014 – with a “reborn” IMSA retained as the sanctioning body for the new combined series – the Austin Hatcher Foundation joined Camp Boggy Creek in IMSA’s Proud Charity category.

“The term ‘Proud Charity’ truly is appropriate, because everyone in our organization is proud of our partnership with IMSA,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President  and Co-Founder Amy Jo Osborn. “And the way this has evolved through the years is remarkable.”

The roots of the partnership precede the foundation’s former ALMS status – and precede the foundation itself, actually. Amy Jo and her husband Dr. Jim Osborn started the foundation after the 2006 death of their infant son Austin Hatcher Osborn due to an aggressive form of pediatric cancer. Prior to that, however, the Osborns were involved for several years in cancer-related charitable initiatives at the season-ending Petit Le Mans sports car event in Braselton, Georgia. A significant coincidence to say the least.

“Our status with IMSA came about naturally,” Amy Jo said.

IMSA President Scott Atherton: “IMSA is fortunate to be affiliated with an outstanding organization like the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. The foundation is doing important work on a daily basis and we are privileged to be its partner.

“The long-running history the foundation has with sports car racing makes the partnership a perfect fit, and one that has a bright future moving forward.”Tudor

As an IMSA Proud Charity, the Austin Hatcher Foundation has worked with all of IMSA’s various series to create awareness, raise funds and deliver services to young cancer patients and their families in IMSA race markets throughout the United States.

That collaboration resulted this year in a number of at-tract fundraising auctions during event weekends, along with six visits to children’s hospitals where the foundation’s unique Diversionary Therapy program provided care for 264 family members. Those visits include appearances by ten IMSA drivers, who help patients build and race the foundation’s signature pinewood derby cars. Diversionary Therapy is all about what its label implies – offering kids and their families a respite from the arduous day-to-day challenges presented by a cancer battle.

“The kids at the hospitals we visit always are happy to see us, but when we’re joined by real, professional race car drivers, the excitement goes to another level completely,” Amy Jo said. “The drivers interact with the children so well … it’s heartwarming to see how the children respond.

“It’s heartwarming as well to experience the support we get from everyone involved with IMSA – the IMSA executives, officials, drivers, teams, race tracks, sponsors and of course, the sports car fans.”

We are excited to announce that through the support of IMSA and its partners, we have raised over $225,000 during the 2015 IMSA season.

“On behalf of everyone at the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer,” Amy Jo said, “I would like to sincerely thank our dear friends at IMSA for all of their support throughout 2015. We could not be more grateful for all you have done for our cause.”

 

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