Deb Pollack, founder Drive Toward a Cure
(t) 805.320.9248   (e)


RPM Foundation Extends Charity’s ‘Cars and Camaraderie™ Mantra to Vintage Car Community — Fundraising Collaboration Supports Grant Programs for RPM and Parkinson’s Patients

For 2022, RPM maintained an all-female X-Cup team in an effort to encourage more women and young women to consider a career in vehicle restoration, and drove a 1966 Mustang over 2,000 miles from Rhode Island to North Dakota. Members of the team included student navigators Olivia Gadjo, Kinzie Wilson and current Rolex Cup Driver Sabre Cook (left to right).

RPM’s X-Cup team is anxious to create the livery for this 1965 Corvair, donated as their entrant car for the 2023 Great Race, covering 2,000 miles from St. Augustine, FL to Colorado Springs over a total of nine days.

Noah Jackson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla, will be blending his automotive passion and Go-Kart racing experience to support RPM’s Great Race X-Cup team for 2023 as a student navigator for the 9-day time/distance/speed rally.

RPM high schooler Betty Parish, a 16-year-old future automotive restoration and fabrication specialist, hails from Athens, Tenn., and will share in student navigational duties for RPM’s 2023 X-Cup team, riding in the team’s 1965 Corvair.

Olivia Gadjo, from Skaneateles, NY, adds her Motorcycle and Powersports Technology knowledge to RPM’s 2023 X-Cup team, where she will be one of two women mentor drivers in the 2,000-mile 2023 Great Race. Olivia participated in 2022 as part of RPM’s all-female X-Cup team.

Returning for her second year of participation with RPM’s X-Cup team, Kinzie Wilson will share mentor driver responsibilities for 2023’s Great Race and later head to the University of Bologna Business School in Italy to complete her Global MBA studying Supercars, Superbikes, and Motorsports.

CHICAGO – April 11, 2023 – In recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, the RPM Foundation is announcing its partnership with non-profit Drive Toward a Cure during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, raising awareness and funding to support car enthusiasts who may be impacted by Parkinson’s disease and can no longer enjoy their own automotive passion in the same way. Together, both foundations will engage in fundraising opportunities that will benefit each group’s grant funding including Drive Toward a Cure’s own ‘Special Assistance Fund’ and RPM’s scholarship and outreach for career enhancement programs, while promoting the alignment and the cause.

According to Nick Ellis, Executive Director for the RPM Foundation, the two organizations decided to collaborate after realizing they had the ability together to forge a lasting impression within the collector car hobby, while acknowledging the passion held by ALL enthusiasts.  “While Parkinson’s disease touches those in every industry, we’ve been moved directly by those in our automotive family that now are facing limits, whether as technicians and mechanics or race car drivers,” said Ellis.  “For the 2023 Parkinson’s Awareness Month especially, we would like to highlight the hands-on nature in our industry as a whole and the impact Parkinson’s has on the ability to participate.”

The X-Cup Division of Great Race features High School and College age student Teams from across the Nation. Special financial support is available to qualified teams including $2500 Team Grants to help with necessary expenses (including fuel, food, etc.), Student Scholarships, and Educational Grants for Institutions represented by the Team winning the Team Choice Award. Entry Fees for qualified X-Cup Teams are also supported by generous donors. Joining forces for added student financial support is the RPM Foundation , well known for its nationwide efforts of advancing student careers in automotive restoration.

In addition to the collective efforts of both groups, the RPM Great Race X-Cup team car will add a Drive Toward a Cure decal to its race livery. The Great Race is an annual tradition within the motoring community and this year will take off from St Augustine, FL on June 24, ending in Colorado Springs on July 2nd.  The full route can be found at:  RPM’s 2023 student X-Cup team will consist of Mentor Drivers Olivia Gadjo and Kinzie Wilson, and Student Navigators Noah Jackson and Betty Parrish – team profiles can be found at: This year’s team will be driving a 1965 Corvair.

Drive Toward a Cure has been expanding fundraising opportunities and awareness for Parkinson’s disease research and patient care throughout the automotive community at large since 2016 and has raised more than $1 million dollars to help improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s as well as to support the research which will one day lead to a cure.

“We’ve been fortunate to creatively engage so many of our car family members in supporting our efforts nationwide,” said Deb Pollack, founder of Drive Toward a Cure. “Not only will RPM’s involvement with us further our channels within the overall enthusiast and racing community, but the excitement and passion we’re finding from younger student-age participants bridges any potential generation gap and further bonds all ages of the car community together for a good cause.”

Over the past several years, various racing endeavors and drivers have associated themselves with Drive Toward a Cure, encouraging an even broader demographic of participation.  Notable racers active in both virtual and driving programs include Derek Hill, Tanner Foust, Loni Unser, Federico Sceriffo and BBi Autosport’s Triple-Porsche Race Effort at the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.  Additional individual drivers have represented Drive Toward a Cure on their own cars within the F4 US Championship Series, Formula DRIFT Pro Driver Series, Road to Indy and various Karting events.

Look for the Drive Toward a Cure logo on RPM’s 2023 entry in The Great Race.  Donation support can be contributed at


About The RPM Foundation:

The RPM Foundation, the nonprofit automotive trades’ advocate which promotes Restoration, Preservation and Mentorship in the collector car hobby, understands that young people find different paths to their first exposure to classic vehicles. However, once that enthusiastic ember is lit it needs to be attentively nurtured to ensure the future passion for collector cars. In this case, it means partnering with youth programs like The Great Race X-Cup Division to give young people their first taste of a cross-country rally in a collector vehicle.

To read more about RPM and find out how you can help mentor the next generation of automotive and marine restoration artisans and craftspeople, visit: .

About Drive Toward a Cure:

Drive Toward a Cure raises funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research AND patient care. Inspired by the camaraderie found within the automotive culture, the organization’s mission benefits equally from both enthusiast communities and industry professionals.  Drive Toward a Cure events harness enthusiasm for cars and driving and turn that power into support for ongoing work to improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s, as well as the research that will hopefully one day lead to a cure. Since 2016, Drive Toward a Cure has raised more than one million dollars to support BOTH research AND patient care.

Drive Toward a Cure is a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting beneficiaries including The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation, and numerous Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s. For donations, sponsorship and event registration please visit

About Parkinson’s Disease

Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 90,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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