Having recently started working with The Julian Center, a unique nonprofit agency providing counseling, safe shelter, case management, advocacy, and education for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other life crises, I oddly enough found myself reaching back to my racing roots.
I had almost forgotten the kindness, the generosity, and the big heartedness you find in the racing community. I haven’t actively participated with the IndyCar® Series since shortly after Paul Dana died in March 2006. Yet, when I started calling teams and drivers looking for donations for the silent auction portion of The Julian Center’s Starlight Ball fundraiser, it was as if I’d never left. “How can we help?”, “What do you need?”, and “When do you need it by?” were the only questions anyone asked.
Given the extremely short notice I gave everyone (I didn’t start helping out until three weeks before the auction donation deadline), I was joyfully surprised with the number of items that came in. I know I could have gotten much more if there had been more time. From signed driver’s shirts, shoes, visors, and even a helmet, the donations will add a diversity to our auction that can only increase the excitement and the funds raised for this great cause. Honda Performance Development and U/S Sports Advisors even donated a framed lithograph that celebrates Honda’s 100th IndyCar® win and is signed by both Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan. Racing people are simply a great group of people and there’s no way anyone can ever make me believe otherwise.
So, just so everyone knows, the wonderful folks in racing not only entertain the community, they contribute to it on so many other levels as well. Kudos to all those who use their powers for good! Here’s to a safe and successful 2011 IndyCar® Series season!!