Austin Hatcher Foundation-Goodguys Rod & Custom Association Partnership Bringing ‘AutoCross for Kids’ Initiative to Goodguys 3rd NC Nationals

CHATTANOOGA, TENN.  (April 25, 2017) – One of the most successful partnerships in the history of the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer will be an integral part of the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association event on Friday-Sunday (April 28-30) – the Goodguys 3rd North Carolina Nationals at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

 

This is the third year the Austin Hatcher Foundation has partnered with Pleasanton, California-based Goodguys, the world’s largest hot rodding association founded by lifelong “hot rodder” Gary Meadors in 1983. Goodguys now has more than 70,000 active members worldwide. This weekend is one of six Goodguys events involving the foundation; the first of 2017 was the Goodguys 8th Spring Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 10-12.

This partnership has embellished the Austin Hatcher Foundation’s established history of involvement with both motorsports and automotive organizations. The foundation is an official “Proud Charity” of the International Motor Sports Association along with being part of the “SEMA Cares” Family of Charities.

Goodguys events attract an array of custom hot rods, cars and trucks. Complementing the automotive displays are vendor exhibits and live entertainment – plus the adrenaline-charged Goodguys AutoCross. Goodguys events range from two-day gatherings attendance by 30,000-40,000 to three days and more than 100,000 auto enthusiasts. Venues range from fan-friendly fairground settings to super speedways and stadiums.

Another important complement at the events involving the Austin Hatcher Foundation: the “AutoCross for Kids,” with event attendees able to ride with a professional driver on the AutoCross race course for a suggested donation to the foundation.

Contributions resulting from the AutoCross for Kids initiative benefit the foundation’s unique and innovative services such as the Diversionary Therapy Program that provides young patients and their family members much-needed diversions from a fight against cancer, via a variety of specialized activities.; the Healthy Lifestyle Program that educates children about nutrition, exercise, sun safety and avoidance of tobacco products; and the Psycho-Oncology Program that offers specialized therapies. Those three programs, along with an Industrial Arts Program, operate under the umbrella of the new Education Advancement Center at the foundation headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Industrial Arts Program enables children to learn fabrication skills using a variety of hand, power and machine tools. The program also includes small engine repair and automobile maintenance. In the pediatric cancer setting, the program serves not only to teach young cancer patients and their family members traditional “shop” skills but also promotes the development and improvement of family and team-building skills. The improvement of coordination deficits resulting from cancer treatments is also targeted, as are behavioral, memory and learning deficits resulting from cancer and the effects on each family member. The Industrial Arts Program’s automotive emphasis is complemented by the “Hot Rodders of Tomorrow” Engine Challenge and the Driver Performance Improvement Program.

The AutoCross for Kids is a spin-off of the immensely popular – and extremely competitive – Goodguys AutoCross that features registered participants at Goodguys events putting their Street Rod, Truck or Street Machine through the paces to test their driving skills and see how their vehicle handles in a performance situation. The Goodguys AutoCross course is situated inside the event venue and will have plenty of turns and curves to test even the best-tuned suspension among other things. All participants are timed and at the end of the event, one winner from each of the Street Rod, Truck and Street Machine classes are presented awards and gift certificates from sponsors.

“We call the AutoCross for Kids an awesome lateral-g ride for an amazing cause,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “To have this initiative linked to the Goodguys Autocross is a natural connection, and has helped so much not only in raising funds but raising awareness for the foundation. The response has been very gratifying at all of the Goodguys events we’ve attended. The crowds are huge and always very receptive.

“Our partnership with Goodguys also is a valuable extension of our long-running relationships with the motorsports and automotive industries.”

Following is the complete 2017 schedule of Goodguys events involving the Austin Hatcher Foundation:

  • 8th Spring Nationals, March 10-12, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • 3rd NC Nationals, April 28-30, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • 12th Nashville Nationals, May 19-21, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 20th PPG Nationals, July 7-9, Columbus, Ohio
  • 6th Nostalgia Nationals, October 13-15, Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • 24th Southeastern Nationals, October 20-22, Charlotte, North Carolina