A Conversation with Doug Fehan - Program Manager, Corvette Racing
During the recent Rolex 24 At DAYTONA sports-car racing weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer presented its third annual Humanitarian Award to Corvette Racing, in recognition of its efforts throughout 2018 in helping the foundation provide essential services to young cancer patients and their families.
Corvette Racing is long-established as one of sports car racing’s premier organizations, competing in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The Austin Hatcher Foundation is an official “IMSA Proud Charity.”
Accepting the award was Corvette Racing Program manager Doug Fehan, an ardent supporter of the Austin Hatcher Foundation. A number of times in recent years, the foundation has partnered with Corvette Racing for at-track fundraising auctions of racing-related memorabilia, photographs and paintings.
Oftentimes, Fehan himself has volunteered to serve as the impromptu auctioneer for those auctions. In addition, Corvette Racing drivers have been involved in the foundation’s Diversionary Therapy visits to children’s hospitals, where they interact with young patients and bring fun activities to do together.
Following are highlights of the press conference conversation, during the presentation.
Jim Osborn: “The people who make up the extraordinary Corvette Racing program have always been true friends to children with cancer nationwide, through our foundation.”
Doug Fehan: “Anybody who has followed the Austin Hatcher Foundation knows that they take a very unique approach to pediatric cancer that is not simply involved with the children with the disease, but also the family and all the fallout that occurs on the family side. No one really thinks about the moms and dads, the brothers and sisters, the grandpas and grandmas, the aunts and uncles who are all affected by this disease even though they don’t have it. That’s the unique place where the Austin Hatcher Foundation finds itself.
“Once Corvette Racing learned that [donations to the foundation] weren’t only donations to the science of cancer research – which is of course very important – but rather, actually dealt with human lives [surrounded by] cancer … we were immediate taken by that.”
JO: “The involvement of one of auto racing’s top teams in our efforts really helps raise the level of engagement by fans, when it comes to educating them on the foundation’s mission to erase the effects of pediatric cancer. When you’re at an IMSA race, it’s obvious that virtually everyone knows about Corvette Racing; to use auto racing terminology, the foundation gets to “draft” off that recognition, when we’re combining with Corvette Racing for an at-track event.”
DF: “We’ve made it our mission at Corvette Racing to do what we can, to give back. We have been very fortunate in our success with IMSA. So, be it with children’s hospital visits involving our drivers, to providing auction items to helping run the auctions [we’re able to help]. But it all comes back down to the fact that we have a very generous support base in our Corvette Corral people, wildly generous people who enjoy giving back, so we’re able to generate funds to help the AHF.”
“We want to thank the foundation for everything they do and we’re happy and pleased to be a part of it.”
JO: “We appreciate what Corvette Racing does so much and we want to thank everyone on the Corvette Racing team and thanks, also, to the race fans.”
DF: “We are truly honored to accept this award from the Austin Hatcher Foundation. The mission by the foundation has been making a difference in the lives of children for more than a decade. It’s a program that touches everyone on our team, our Corvette owners and fans. We couldn’t be more proud to work with the Austin Hatcher Foundation. On behalf of Corvette Racing, thank you for this award.”