Print this page

Honda Grand Prix of Alabama and “Racing for Children’s” Races into Barber Motorsports Park

Written by  May 25, 2018

The Indy guys rolled back into Alabama April 20-22, 2018

Kicking things off Friday night at the beautiful Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum was the 8th annual “Racing for Kids” dinner, presented by: Medical Properties Trust and benefiting Children’s of Alabama, Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. Where they are committed to a Cure!

 

More than 190 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Alabama, and 90% of children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders in Alabama are treated at the Alabama Center.

Over 500 children undergo cancer treatments each year in Alabama, and 84% of children with cancer will be cured; up from less than 50% decades ago.

There are now about 1000 adult survivors of childhood cancer in Alabama.

We know at least one of these; she is the owner of “Who Doesn’t Like Cake” on Old Springville Road, Bianca L. Priest. Not only do they make the best cupcakes and cakes but she is also the sweetest most talented, big-hearted people you’ll ever meet. I learned that she was a survivor last year when she donated $50 worth of gift certificates to the pediatric brain tumor foundation ride that we’ve had the honor of being a part of for many years.

There are 300 dedicated staff members at the Alabama Center working each day to find cures and to meet the unique needs of childhood cancer survivors.

This was such a beautiful, exciting, heart warming evening, and some of us came underdressed for the festivities, we quickly discovered just walking across the parking lot.

The first thing greeting all of us, right outside the doors of the museum was the Racing for Kids car that has been painted for the kids in mind, even including their hand prints and signatures, its really cool.

Also outside with the car was Ben and Mollie, this year’s Crew Chiefs!

Ben recently finished treatment for leukemia and is in remission. He’s back to his favorite activities like football, baseball, swimming and playing with friends. “He’s a miracle”, say’s Ben’s mother, Christi. “Even during the frontline aggressive treatment at the beginning, he did so well”. Wow! How Awesome!!!

Molly had surgery at Children’s of Alabama to remove a cancerous tumor on her brain stem. After 30 radiation treatments and six cycles of chemotherapy, an MRI revealed Mollie is now cancer-free, back in school, taking piano lessons and playing on her school tennis team! Again, Wow! How Awesome!!!

The room was so pretty, tables upon tables of food, 2 bars with a cocktail reception prior to dinner. Giving people a chance to walk around and see all the wonderful things up for auction in the silent auction as well as the upcoming live auction conducted by, Cking Benefit Auctions.

Photographer friend s of ours, Anne and Albert Hicks had a painting that she had done of racecar driver Josef Newgarden, in the silent auction, which Albert ended up with by having the winning bid. I said how cool, now you’ll have a copy and the original to which he replied, no, she presented the original to Joseph Newgarden, cool! I included a picture of that.

Miss Alabama, Miss Hannah Brown (who by the way, will go on to compete in the Miss U.S.A pageant in May), Miss Teen Alabama and Miss University of Alabama added to the beauty of this night as they were present to greet people as they came in to the reception area.

The food was awesome, the live auction was so exciting and they raised so much money in a short amount of time. We felt so privileged to have been a part of this event, just sorry that we aren’t wealthy people that could have contributed a bundle to this worthy cause.

Businesses can support Racing for Children’s by sponsoring a patient handprint or donating online at: Racing for Childrens.org.

A foot note, the Racing for Children’s car won their race Saturday and had some of the kids on the podium for the presentation, what a perfect end to a wonderful event.

But back to the Indy race, it wasn’t without its level of excitement either, Mother Nature saw to that! And did I mention that Channing Tatum (Magic Mike himself) was this years Grand Marshal. He got awarded a helmet which he seemed excited about receiving, not sure he was as excited about the large group of folks, mostly women that followed him through the pits trying to get a good picture of him and get next to him. One lady even brought her DVD of the movie for him to sign, pretty sure that didn’t happen!

Saturday was an absolute beautiful day, but then Sundays big race day rolls around, and mother nature wanted to see them racing with rooster tails flying out from behind the cars, a few spinouts, and red flag until it was called do to what else, rain! These guys just put on rain tires and go, not quite as simple for the folks out in it, but they were there.

Race resumed Monday and ended in what else, rain! Josef Newgarden was again crowned the winner; it was the presentation of the painting! J

We would like to extend a special thanks to Mindy Wald of Children’s for the kind invitation to Friday nights dinner, it was very exciting and inspirational and we hope to get invited back every year so that we may get some awesome pictures from the event to share this experience with everyone in the hopes that it would “inspire” even more people.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to Albert and Anne Hicks for sharing a few of their awesome photos with all of us. These two bust their butt getting around the track and hanging out inside the track getting some really awesome action shots, and we greatly appreciate them sharing some of the fruits of their hard work with all of us.