Next Stop, Mid-Ohio
Austin Hatcher Foundation ‘Road Show’ Continues in Conjunction With IMSA Race Season, During Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Event
Fundraising Fan Auctions Set for Sunday at Scenic, Historic Circuit
Auctions Prefaced by Thursday Visit to Nationwide Children’s Hospital
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 30, 2019) – The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer is teaming up with some old friends this week, with the end result certain to involve a number of new friends.
The foundation, as part of its status as an official “Proud Charity” of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), will have two fundraising auctions at the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on Sunday – “race day” for the Acura Sports Car Challenge, part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule. Race fans will be able to bid on various racing memorabilia from 11-11:30 a.m. at the Team Penske and Meyer Shank Racing transporters in the circuit’s paddock area.
The Team Penske and Meyer Shank organizations regularly support the foundation via the at-track auctions, which are held throughout the United States at IMSA events. IMSA, headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, is the nation’s premier sports car racing sanctioning body and is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary season.
In addition, on Thursday morning the Austin Hatcher Foundation will bring its renowned Diversionary Therapy program to Columbus, Ohio and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the country’s second-largest pediatric hospital and research center. Team Penske driver Ricky Taylor and Meyer Shank Racing driver Christina Nielsen will participate in the visit, which will feature specialized activities for children and families, supplying a needed respite from the daily challenges presented by a fight against pediatric cancer. An especially popular activity is the building and racing of miniature Pinewood Derby cars, with IMSA drivers interacting with young patients. The appearance of Taylor will take that interaction up a notch, as he’s a former WeatherTech Championship series titlist and was named one of IMSA’s “50 Greatest Drivers” prior to this season. This is also Nielsen’s second Diversionary Therapy visit for the year, following a successful visit to Halifax Health Children’s Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida this past January.
(Note: Diversionary Therapy activities are not open to media.)
“Old friends who are also staunch supporters of our mission to erase the effects of pediatric cancer – that’s the best way to describe the people at Team Penske and Meyer Shank Racing,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “Their support personifies the way IMSA embraces – and enhances – our efforts to increase our visibility and raise funds. Our IMSA-related partnerships allow us to introduce the foundation to thousands of people each year.
“The services we offer during our Diversionary Therapy visits and at our Education Advancement Center in Chattanooga are provided at no cost to young cancer patients and their family members. We are so appreciative of our friends throughout IMSA, in helping make that happen.”
“The Austin Hatcher Foundation is near and dear to the IMSA family,” said Meyer Shank team owner Mike Shank. “Whenever we can help those kids, we want to. And we’ve had some pretty good successes with some of our auctions at the race track. You always want to do anything you can to help a cause like this.”