RACING AGAINST CANCER HONORED
TEAM FUNDRAISING VIP'S
AT ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
On Saturday, January 10, 2009 the Racing Against Cancer™
Team celebrated the 12th Annual Awards Luncheon at the Foxwoods
Resort Casino paying tribute to its heritage and its group of devoted
supporters. During the emotional ceremony, a number of contributors shared
the spotlight for their outstanding fundraising accomplishments during the
2008 racing season. Throughout the year, the Racing Against Cancer (RAC)
Team members collectively raised over $53,000 for the fight against cancer.
“Despite the downturn in the economy the Racing Against Cancer™
Team was one of the few charitable organizations to show an
increase,” said founder Jon Blanchette proudly.
During the event, Founder Kelly Turner of the CHAIN Fund and
Barbara Ducharme, Executive Director of the Tomorrow Fund each accepted
checks for $2,500. Founder Dick Cyr of David’s House received $5,000 and
Bruce Marshall the Vice President of Income Development for the New England
Chapter of the American Cancer Society was presented with a check in the
amount of $25,000. The remainder of the funds will go to support the Youth
Tobacco Awareness Program, the 2009 Celebration of Life event, and other RAC
“This program is so unique and so special,” said Joe Jimenez,
Executive Vice President of Casino Marketing for the Foxwoods Resort Casino.
“This is more important than any marketing plan that I have ever put
together. Thank you for taking [Foxwoods Resort Casino] along for the
The cumulative fundraising total, after 12 years of operation, for
the Racing Against Cancer Foundation is over $634,000.
“For the first-time ever both the incidents and death rates of all
cancers cumulatively have declined in both men and women,” said Marshall of
the American Cancer Society. “There are over 11 million cancer survivors in
the United States. You are helping to save lives and I applaud you for that.
Thanks to your efforts 11 million people are sitting down with their
families having dinner tonight.”
It took a lot of people, countless hours, a number of events, and
tireless efforts to get to that benchmark for the 2008 season. High points
of the year included the Wings & Wheels event at the Waterford Speedbowl.
With a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales going to RAC, the event
raised over $6,200. The GoMotorBids.com and Speed Sport News online auction
helped bolster fundraising efforts as well. After Tony Stewart piloted a
Modified in 2007 as a fundraiser for RAC, body panels from the car and his
autographed fire suit were auctioned off raising in excess of $4,000. The
nationally recognized Big E Fair at the Eastern States Exposition provided
the occasion for the RAC management team and countless volunteers to raise
well over $20,000 for the Racing Against Cancer TM Program.
The awards ceremony included two very emotional presentations. A
group of dedicated volunteers that included Heather Sica, Bill Doll, Kristen
Phillips, Guy Beaudoin, and Norm Moriarity, who helped with the execution of
the 17-day fundraising effort at the Big E Fair in West Springfield, MA,
were presented with the 8th Annual William J. Fales Spirit of Sportsmanship
Award, for their unwavering dedication to the program. These exceptional
team members made up the Platinum Level contributors that are the
cornerstone to the success for the program. The Richmond Karting Speedway
Management and Race Teams collectively were awarded the 7th Annual Jodi B.
Blanchette Outstanding Achievement Award for demonstrating outstanding
achievement and leadership efforts in helping the Racing Against Cancer TM
Team exceed its fundraising goals.
A host of organizations supporting the RAC Program were lauded for
their Gold Level ($1,000-$4,999) contributions. By selling lap sponsorships
during an event in 2008 at Whip City Speedway along with other fundraising
endeavors, Kristin Phillips of the East Coast Mini Sprint Association helped
to raise $4,100 in support of RAC. Racing brothers Shawn and Diego Monahan
treated race fans at the Wings & Wheels event at the Waterford Speedbowl in
August to a grudge match within the SK Modified feature event. With the help
of Pataya Flooring & Stone Supply Company of Niantic, CT, who stepped in
with a matching contribution, the good-natured endeavor helped to raise an
additional $1,500 to the already outstanding night of fundraising for the
Motivated by her mother’s diagnosis with cancer, Kim Blackstone
implored Howard Payne of the New England ATV Series to support the Racing
Against Cancer Program. No stranger to the program, Payne and Blackstone
jumped in to organize several fundraising events that ultimately raised over
“We look forward to doing more for the Racing Against Cancer
Program next season,” said Payne. “We will support the program 100% in
Dave Crout ($1,895), Steve Pukas ($1,179), and Larry and Mike King
($1,000) were recognized for their outstanding individual efforts. Junior
Ambassador-Gold level contributors also included Austin Brehio, a competitor
at Sugar Hill Speedway along with young Richmond Karting Speedway racers
Alicia Perry, Tommy Stilhen, Izzac Collins, and Willie Pelotte.
Individuals honored for their contributions to the program at the
Silver level (raising $250-$999) included the Strumpf Family, Paul Tuthill,
and Czarnecki Brothers Racing. Junior Ambassador-Silver level contributors
included Richmond Karting Speedway racers Wade, Wyatt & Scott Blanchette,
Joe Lynds, Taylor Robertson and Elle Burbank.
During the awards program several Speedways were recognized for
their efforts including Sugar Hill Speedway (Weare, NH); Richmond Karting
Speedway (Richmond, ME); Poughkeepsie Speedway (Poughkeepsie, NY); Route 106
Speedway (Pembroke, NH); Stafford Motor Speedway (Stafford, CT); Thompson
International Speedway (Thompson, CT); Thundering Valley Speedway (St.
Albans, ME); Waterford Speedbowl (Waterford, CT); and Whip City Speedway
(Westfield, MA). Racing organizations honored for their support of the
Racing Against Cancer Program included the East Coast Mini Sprint
Association, New England ATV, North East Pavement Series, and the South
Shore Outboard Association.
Other contributors to the success of the Racing Against Cancer Team
include Speedway Illustrated, Jim Reed and KOOL 101 FM Radio, and the
Stadium Sports Bar & Grill. Speedway Illustrated hosted the Racing Against
Cancer Team during the annual SpeedwayEXPO. That along with a spirited Dunk
Tank fundraiser (with the help of Shawn Courchesne of the Hartford Courant)
kicked off the season with some much-needed funding. Reed and KOOL 101 were
instrumental and promoting the Wings & Wheels event and ultimately helped to
guarantee its success not only as a racing event but as an RAC Fundraiser.
Ned Nichols and his staff at the Stadium Bar and Grill hosted the 2008
Daytona 500 Party helping to raise over $900. Amsoil Dealer Richard Bowling,
Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes, Times Publishing, MAACO, and Smith
Bros. Transmissions were also recognized.
The 2009 Fundraising season kicks off at the 50th Anniversary of
the Frank Maratta’s Auto Show on February 6-8, 2009 at the Connecticut Expo
Center followed by SpeedwayEXPO at the Big E Fair at the Eastern States
Exposition on February 27- March 1, 2009.
*The Racing Against Cancer program is a federally recognized
501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to the raising of funds for
cancer research, patient services, youth tobacco educational programs, and
*The C.H.A.I.N. Fund, Inc. is Financial Assistance and a Social
Intervention Network for Cancer Patients. We’ve aided the less fortunate for
5 years now. Many of those we helped were able to get back on their feet and
start their lives a new.
*The Tomorrow Fund is the only non-profit organization that
provides daily financial and emotional support to children with cancer and
their families who are treated at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence,
*David's House is a private, 501(c)(3) corporation that provides a
home-away-from-home and support for families with children receiving
treatment through Children's Hospital at Dartmouth at Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.
Source: Dale Wolbrink
/ Racing Against Cancer Team