FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DRIVE TOWARD A CURE 75 DAYS OF SUMMER ENTRANTS CLOCK NEARLY 50k MILES NATIONWIDE
Annual Summer Program Builds Awareness and Funding for Parkinson’s Disease –
Formula SAE University Students Earn Four of Six Top Prizes
LOS ANGELES – September 21, 2023 – Over the past four summers, while encouraging the participation of like-minded driving enthusiasts each year to bring awareness and funding to benefit Parkinson’s disease research and patient care from coast-to-coast, non-profit Drive Toward a Cure has given motorists a good reason to make every mile count. Within the 75 Days of Summer fundraising program for 2023 and following the organization of a Drive Toward a Cure Formula SAE Founders Circle consisting of twenty university student teams, individual student team members joined enthusiasts nationwide to personally participate in the summer driving opportunity, with four students among the Grand Prize winners.
Since June of 2020, Drive Toward a Cure’s largest interactive event has been its yearly 75 Days of Summer program, an engaging way to exercise cars and spirit to promote nationwide recognition for the challenges faced by those with this chronic disease, collectively raising nearly $150,000 for the Parkinson’s cause. And from the beginning, the program – born from the drive to find creative fundraising ideas during the global pandemic – has been ‘fueled’ by Hagerty.
Throughout each summer, entrants compete to drive the most miles and raise the most funds to earn the top prizes, along with ongoing weekly random draws that further build momentum and incentivize participation. Grand prizes awarded to those entrants with the highest combination of dollars raised and miles driven were provided for 2023 by Radford Racing School, Michelin Tires, Katzkin Leather Interiors, NCM Motorsports Park, XtremeXperience and Grand Prix Originals USA. Additional partners contributing to weekly prizes included JBL Audio, Shell, 000 Magazine, Maserati, Linkage Magazine/Audrain Motorsports, Avants and Magneto Magazine.
According to Deb Pollack, founder of Drive Toward a Cure, the original program began at the height of the pandemic in 2020, and during a time of isolation was able to enhance the joys of Cars and Camaraderie™. “We created an ongoing interactive experience that has become an easy way individuals, clubs, groups, and organizations can partake and feel like they’re supporting a worthy cause,” said Pollack. Participation in 2023 spanned more than 25 states throughout North America.
This year’s Grand Prize winners include:
- CALEB ARENA, Chassis Lead of Georgia Tech Motorsports (Formula SAE program) will be receiving the 1st Place Grand Prize after driving 11,533 miles earning a One-Day Performance Driving Course at Radford Racing School in Phoenix, AZ (Valued at $2,400).
- CLINTON QUAN, of Encino, CA, topped his own documented mileage from last year, clocking in at 9,095 miles and raising an additional $500 to earn 2nd Place with a set of Michelin Tires (Valued up to $2,000).
- VIVIAN CHEN, a member of Princeton University’s Formula SAE team, spent the summer in Lansing, MI as an electrical engineering intern on the manufacturing team for General Motors, driving more than 6,000 miles to earn 3rd Place and receive a Katzkin Leather Interior transformation. (Valued at $1,800).
- CAMPBELL HEMMINGHAUS of Blythewood, SC and affiliated with Formula SAE drove his 2010 Chevrolet Camaro more than 5,200 miles – enough to earn 4th Place and an NCM Motorsports C8 Experience (Valued at $800).
- MICHAEL BARNACK of Cary, NC, with his contribution of $4,000 putting him in 5th Place, will receive a Gold Level on-track XtremeXperience in one of eight world-class supercars (Valued at $500).
- KASEY SMITH, a member of Clemson’s Formula SAE team, also earned a prize of apparel from Grand Prix Originals USA (valued at $400) for driving more than 3,500 miles.
- JOHN WARD, of Mentor, OH, gets a well-earned honorable mention for his outstanding contribution to the program on social media. John will be receiving a JBL Charge 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Valued at $150).
Throughout the summer of 2023, between weekly random draws and grand prizes, more than $15,000 worth of giveaways were awarded.
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 hopefully 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,” noted Pollack.
2024 Drive Toward a Cure Events will include:
- 5th annual 75 Days of Summer
- 5th annual NCM Motorsports Park ‘Open Touring Laps Day’ – April 5, 2024
- A special evening of ‘Music and Motion’ is planned at Reno’s National Automobile Museum to highlight Parkinson’s Awareness Month – April 18, 2024
- Ongoing one-day driving events hosted by various car clubs nationwide throughout the year.
- Drive Toward a Cure’s own multi-day Northeast Adventure will be held in the Fall of 2024
The introduction of the Executive Club (www.rallyrace.com/executive-club) – a series of pre-planned weekend driving adventures for enthusiasts to choose where, when and with whom they would like to enjoy an exclusive, professionally planned driving experience will be ongoing.
About Drive Toward a Cure:
Drive Toward a Cure raises funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research AND patient care by expanding our message throughout the automotive community at large. Inspired by the camaraderie found within the car 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 foundation supporting beneficiaries including The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation, and numerous regional Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s. Grants are provided through Drive Toward a Cure’s ‘Access to Care’ and ‘Special Assistance’ grant funds, created to support challenged individuals and specific directive programs. For donations, sponsorship and event registration please view www.drivetowardacure.org.
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. The degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells can cause abnormal brain activity, leading to tremors, stiffness, rigidity, and impaired movement, 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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