CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 4, 2019) – Fundraising auctions held during the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA sports car race at Daytona International Speedway resulted in more than $30,000 donated to the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
The exact total -- $32,700 – was donated over the course of two days at “The World Center of Racing” as the International Motor Sports Association (lMSA) opened its WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with the 57th running of the 24-hour endurance classic. The Austin Hatcher Foundation has a long-running relationship with IMSA and currently serves as an “IMSA Proud Charity.”
Amid the internationally-themed setting that is the Rolex 24, donations came to the foundation from five sources: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Paul Miller Racing and Porsche. Another theme was operative as well, with most of the money raised coming from bids on “live” at-track paintings produced by noted motorsports artists Bill Patterson and Roger Warrick. Two Patterson works raised $6,000 apiece at an Audi-hosted auction.
“The results speak for themselves,” Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn said. “During IMSA’s biggest event of their year, IMSA staff, race teams and race drivers – and obviously, our artists – helped get our year off to an awesome start.”
The at-track auctions were the culmination of an event-filled few days in Daytona Beach that showcased the foundation and its mission to erase the effects of pediatric cancer. It started with a visit by foundation staff and IMSA drivers to interact with young patients in the Speediatrics unit at Halifax Health Medical Center. Foundation staff members were joined for the visit by 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. IMSA drivers regularly attend those visits. 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 drivers competing with young patients.
“Thanks to the various partnerships we had active at the Rolex 24, we have received a considerable financial ‘jump-start’ to our year,” Osborn said. “The momentum is real and now we’re working to build upon that momentum.”