CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2019) – Another year, another sports car racing season and another opportunity for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer to showcase its goal of erasing the effects of pediatric cancer, with the help of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
The Austin Hatcher Foundation once again is serving as a “Proud Charity” of IMSA. And, once again, the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA – the season-opening event on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule – will facilitate a grand start to the new year. The foundation has scheduled five fundraising auctions to be held in the Daytona International Speedway infield this weekend during the Rolex 24, which begins on Saturday at 2:35 p.m. (ET) on the famed DIS 3.56-mile road course.
Acclaimed artists Bill Patterson and Roger Warrick are helping with fundraising as only they can – producing on-demand “live” paintings for sports car fans to bid on at the auctions.
On Friday night from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Patterson will prepare a painting for auction during a Cadillac event at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, located inside the speedway’s Ticket and Tours Building. On Saturday from 10-11 a.m., Patterson will be at the PorschePlatz enthusiast area, with his work being auctioned upon completion. Patterson will shift to the Audi Corral for a live painting from 4:30-6:30 p.m., followed by an auctioning of the work. Also Saturday, Warrick will paint from 3:30-5:30 at the BMW Corral, followed by an auction.
A fifth auction will be hosted Saturday from 10:15-10:45 a.m. at the Paul Miller Racing transporter in the IMSA paddock area, with racing-related memorabilia to be available.
“What a fantastic way to start 2019, at Daytona International Speedway representing the Austin Hatcher Foundation and IMSA,” said Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “Five auctions equates to immeasurable visibility for our cause at the biggest sports car race in North America. We are so grateful to IMSA at all levels of their organization, for the support they provide the foundation.”
In addition to the weekend auctions, the Austin Hatcher Foundation began their week in Daytona Beach on Wednesday morning with one of their signature Diversionary Therapy visits to young patients in the Speediatrics unit at Halifax Health Medical Center. Foundation staff members were joined for the visit by two of IMSA’s top drivers – Christina Nielsen of Meyer Shank Racing and Tyler Cooke of eEuroparts.com ROWE Racing.
The foundation’s Diversionary Therapy visits are held throughout the year, often in markets that host IMSA races. That synergy enables IMSA drivers to regularly attend those visits and interact with patients and their family members.
Diversionary Therapy entails specialized activities for children and families, supplying a much-needed respite from the everyday realities of a fight against pediatric cancer. One of those activities is the building and racing of miniature Pinewood Derby cars, with IMSA drivers competing with young patients.