Austin Hatcher Foundation Returns to Watkins Glen International
Famed Road-Racing Circuit, IMSA Event Weekend Backdrops for Fundraising Auctions
Corvette Corral, BMW Team RLL to Host Auctions
Foundation’s Diversionary Therapy Program Paying Visit to Golisano Children’s Hospital
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 25, 2019) – The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer is heading to upstate New York and the legendary Watkins Glen International road-racing circuit this week, showcasing the foundation’s status as an official “Proud Charity” of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
Watkins Glen International will be the site of Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, one of the premier races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge schedule. “The Glen” is renowned as a mecca of North American sports car racing; it debuted in 1956, carrying on a local tradition that started with two previous circuits that both utilized existing roads in the community for races held from 1948-1955.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation is partnering with the Corvette Corral, the Corvette owner/enthusiast area that is part of every IMSA event weekend, for a fundraising auction on Saturday from 12:45-1:30 p.m., hosted by Doug Fehan, manager of the Corvette C7.R racing program. Noted motorsports artist Bill Patterson will prepare a “live” painting to be auctioned.
Corvette Racing received the third annual third annual Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Humanitarian Award in January, in recognition of their efforts to assist the foundation throughout 2018. Fehan accepted the award, which was presented at Daytona International Speedway prior to the season’s opening race, the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
Also Saturday, BMW Team RLL will host an auction at 3:30 p.m., at the team transporter in the IMSA paddock. At-track auctions hosted by race teams during the IMSA season typically feature paintings, photographs, used sports car parts and other memorabilia up for bidding. BMW Team RLL is co-owned by former Indianapolis 500 and Rolex 24 At DAYTONA champion Bobby Rahal, television icon David Letterman and Chicago-based businessman Michael Lanigan.
“Weeks like this are vital for the Austin Hatcher Foundation, giving us the opportunity for visibility at one of the continent’s premier racing venues,” said the foundation’s president, Amy Jo Osborn. “Watkins Glen is so historic; there’s almost a reverence surrounding the place. We are honored and humbled to be part of such a setting this week, to inform people about our mission to erase the effects of pediatric cancer.”
As in recent years during the IMSA race weekend, the foundation also will bring its Diversionary Therapy program to the Watkins Glen area, with a Thursday morning visit to Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, New York. Golisano is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center organization and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top children’s medical facilities over the last decade.
Diversionary Therapy visits entail specialized activities for children and families, supplying a much-needed respite from the everyday realities of a fight against pediatric cancer. One of those especially popular activities is the building and racing of miniature Pinewood Derby cars among young patients and family members.
“Just as Watkins Glen International is a premier race circuit, Golisano Children’s Hospital is a premier medical facility,” Osborn said. “Wherever you look, this is a special week for our foundation.”