CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 17, 2022) – The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer is heading to New York for the famous Watkins Glen International road-racing circuit next week, showcasing the foundation’s status as an official “Proud Charity” of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
Watkins Glen International will be the site of Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, one of the premier races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule, happening at the culmination of the weekend on Sunday, June 26. “The Glen” is famed as a mecca of North American sports car racing, evidenced by the facility being named “America’s Best NASCAR Track” four times in recent years by USA Today.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation will be represented at various events throughout the days leading up to Sunday’s race, which includes a diversionary therapy visit to Golisano Children’s Hospital with Team TGM, two live paintings and auctions with motorsport artist Roger Warrick, and a fan auction with Team TGM.
“Weeks like this are so important for the Austin Hatcher Foundation, as it gives us the opportunity for visibility at one of the most historic and premier racing venues,” said the foundation’s president and CEO, Amy Jo Osborn. “We are honored and humbled to be part of such an incredible setting this week as we work to share our foundation’s mission of providing solutions to help erase the effects of pediatric cancer, both during and after treatment.”
On Wednesday, June 22, the foundation is partnering with Team TGM for a diversionary therapy visit to Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, New York. Golisano is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center organization and has been nationally ranked and recognized as one of the nation’s top children’s medical facilities over the last decade. Diversionary therapy visits entail specialized activities for children and families fighting pediatric cancer. A special, popular activity done as part of the diversionary therapy is the building and racing of miniature Pinewood Derby cars among the patients and family members.
Team TGM will also partner with the Austin Hatcher Foundation on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for a fan auction in the Team TGM Paddock with the team’s four drivers: Ted Giovanis, Owen Trinkler, Hugh Plumb and Matt Plumb. Here, fans have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind Team TGM paintings, photographs, car parts and other special memorabilia.
“With charity built into TGM’s roots, it has been a natural progression to partner with the Austin Hatcher Foundation for the past couple years,” said Team TGM’s Director of Operations Kristina Giovanis. “TGM is excited to have the opportunity to participate in our first diversionary therapy visit at Golisano Children’s Hospital as well as hosting the fan auction with our four drivers. It has been an honor to promote Austin Hatcher’s mission, and we look forward to doing so for years to come.”
On both Saturday and Sunday, the Austin Hatcher Foundation is partnering with two different car corrals for fundraising auctions. Starting at 11 a.m. both days, noted motorsports artist Roger Warrick will prepare a live painting to be auctioned at 1 p.m. Saturday’s auction will take place in the Corvette Corral, and Sunday’s will be located at the Cadillac Corral. These corrals are IMSA-facilitated enthusiast areas exclusive for loyal owners of these high-performance road cars to socialize and visit with factory representatives, team personalities and legendary racing drivers.
With both the live painting and fan auctions, a portion of the proceeds will go directly to supporting pediatric cancer families through the Austin Hatcher Foundation. The Austin Hatcher Foundation is in its eighth year as a “Proud Charity” of IMSA, after having spent the previous four years with Petit Le Mans, and has been involved with road-racing ever since the nonprofit’s beginning in 2006, as co-founder Dr. Jim Osborn was a race car driver in the SPEED World Challenge Series.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s mission is to erase the effects of pediatric cancer and optimize quality of life through essential specialized intervention beginning at the time of a child’s diagnosis and continuing through survivorship. Families of the foundation are provided with services such as mental and behavioral health therapy, occupational therapy, neuropsych testing, family programs and more at absolutely no cost to them.
Continuing with the connection to racing, another one of the foundation’s services is industrial arts therapy, which features fabrication of objects in wood or metal using a variety of tools, engine repair and automobile maintenance programs. These “shop” skills serve a variety of functions, improving coordination, behavioral, memory and learning deficits that can result from chemotherapy, radiation, and other side effects of cancer.
To learn more about the Austin Hatcher Foundation, visit https://www.hatcherfoundation.org/.
For more information about Watkins Glen and to view a full schedule, visit https://www.imsa.com/events/2022-sahlens-six-hours-of-the-glen/.