CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Oct. 7, 2019) – This weekend, the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer will have its annual premium showcase experience as an official “Proud Charity” for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), during IMSA’s season-ending event, the world-renowned Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.
Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans, one of the top sports car races in North America, is a 10-hour endurance race that wraps up the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. On Friday and Saturday, the Austin Hatcher Foundation will benefit from five fundraising auctions at the raceway, with state-of-the-art sports car racing as the high-speed backdrop. And on Sunday night, at the nearby Chateau Élan Resort & Winery, the foundation will be acknowledged for its service during the WeatherTech Night of Champions, IMSA’s spectacular postseason awards show.
Each year, the foundation’s partnership with IMSA – the nation’s largest sports car racing sanctioning body, located in Daytona Beach, Florida – results in a multitude of opportunities at race tracks during the season that raise both funds and awareness. As part of its unending mission to erase the effects of pediatric cancer, the Austin Hatcher Foundation provides all services to young cancer patients and their families at no cost, with funding derived solely from the donations of supporters. Since its inception, the foundation has provided services to more than 72,000 individuals across 23 states, in 42 children’s hospitals.
The foundation will provide its innovative Diversionary Therapy initiative on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. Diversionary Therapy visits by foundation staff members offer interactive, specialized activities for young patients and their family members, supplying a much-needed respite from the everyday realities of a cancer battle. This week’s visit is one of many the foundation has made this year to children’s medical facilities across the country in markets where IMSA events are held. Joining foundation staff members on Tuesday will be IMSA driver Ryan Biscoe from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.
Media members wanting to attend the Diversionary Therapy visit should contact Julia Sharp of the foundation at 423.243.3470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an extension of Diversionary Therapy, the foundation will also host more than 100 individuals at the track Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. These individuals come from nine cities across three states and are all pediatric cancer patients, survivors, and their family members. Families will be able to enjoy the excitement of the race, along with specialized activities and games organized by the foundation.
Partnering with IMSA has created spin-off relationships for the Austin Hatcher Foundation with various sports car teams, automobile manufacturers and racing-themed artists. Those relationships are responsible for at-track auctions of artwork, photography and sports car racing memorabilia.
Acclaimed artists Roger Warrick and Bill Patterson will both appear this weekend, preparing paintings for auction at the Corvette Corral, Porscheplatz, BMW Corral, and Cadillac Corral fan enthusiast areas. Warrick is a longtime producer of artwork used by Sebring (Florida) International Raceway for posters and program covers; Patterson is the official artist of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Both regularly donate their work for at-track auctions to benefit the foundation.
There also will be a special Silent Auction Tent set up in the raceway Vendor Village area on Friday and Saturday. Bidding may be done on-site or remotely at https://qtego.net/qlink/roadatlanta.
This weekend’s auction schedule:
Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Silent Auction Tent
Friday, 10 a.m., Corvette Corral – Roger Warrick painting begins
Friday, 2:30 p.m., Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Transporter – Live fan auction and autograph session
Friday, 3 p.m., Corvette Corral – Live auction of painting
Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Silent Auction Tent
Saturday, 9 a.m., Porscheplatz – Bill Patterson painting begins
Saturday, 11 a.m., Porscheplatz – Live auction of painting
Saturday, 9 a.m., BMW Corral – Roger Warrick painting begins
Saturday, 1 p.m., BMW Corral – Live auction of painting
Saturday, 6 p.m., Cadillac Corral – Bill Patterson painting begins
Saturday, 7 p.m., Cadillac Corral – Live auction of painting
This race is rooted in the foundation’s history. For a number of years, it closed the season for the American Le Mans Series, with the Austin Hatcher Foundation serving as the series’ Official Charity.
“We have a lot of history with Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “In the foundation’s early years, this track was a special place – and the Motul Petit Le Mans a special race – for us in terms of fundraising efforts and at-track experiences for young cancer patients and their family members. Along the way we started adding off-track activities. That took off, with the help of so many dear friends in the sports car and automotive industries who are immersed in IMSA racing.
“Being involved at the Motul Petit Le Mans is really a cherished tradition for our organization. It’s appropriate that this time around, we have some of our true-blue partners involved – Cadillac, Corvette, BMW, Porsche, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, and painters extraordinaire, Roger Warrick and Bill Patterson. Not only is this weekend a highlight of IMSA’s season, but it’s also an annual highlight for the Austin Hatcher Foundation.”