Lake Wins Modified Season Opener

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Dave Lake made a long awaited return to Victory Lane on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in the Berlin Raceway season opening modified feature, driving the RA 97L.  Lake passed Blake Rowe, 9 laps into the race, and then held off the hard charging Bill Eppink to claim the victory.  Dave’s win was his 45th career feature victory.  In 2011, Lake won 7 times, in the RA modified, in route to the modified championship.

Ride along with Dave Lake, April 16, 2016, in the RacingAwareness.com 97L modified at the Berlin Raceway.

 

 

ICEBREAKER Berlin Raceway

ICE BREAKER EXPERIENCE

April 16, 2016

The season is almost here and we want you to experience it in style! Berlin is offering an Ice Breaker Experience for April 16. This experience allows you and 9 of your family members and friends to watch the races from the private Berlin Party Deck, provides you with a meal coupon for the buffet on the deck and gives you the personal experience of meeting some of Berlin’s own drivers during a meet and greet session on the deck before the races start! Purchase your experience now for just $100. This is limited to the first 12 groups of 10, so book yours now – BOOK NOW

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Bring A Family To The Races, 2016 – Presented by RacingAwareness.com

Up to 10 people each week the RA cars are on the track!! 

Everyone knows a family that needs a getaway from their everyday routine; an opportunity for an evening together of fun, laughter, and for making new memories. In 2016, RacingAwareness.com will make that opportunity available to families with an evening at the Berlin Raceway.    

Each week that thra5e RacingAwareness.com cars are on the track (RA schedule) at the Berlin Raceway, one family will experience the sights and sounds of short track racing and be a part of the action. This package includes complimentary general admission, hot dogs and a beverage for up to 10 people.  Plus, the RA team will add some special surprises along the way.  One package will be presented on each RA race Saturday in 2016.10478574_10152263599182983_2892172741206778919_n

While this opportunity is open to all, special consideration will be given to those families that have experienced hardship due to the illness or injury of a child.

Are you, or do you know of a family that is ready to spend an evening together making new memories?  If so, please contact RacingAwareness.com!  Opportunities are limited so don’t delay.  Submit your request today.  If selected, an RA representative will contact you directly.

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Auto Show Big Hit Again

Auto Show Big Hit Again

The 2016 West Michigan International Auto Show lived up to the hype again this year with record breaking crowds and a peek at what’s new in the automobile industry. For the seventh year in a row, RacingAwareness.com, was an invited guest, given the opportunity to raise funds for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and debut the RA race cars.

Thank you to all that stopped for a visit, drive the racing simulator, sign the hood, purchase the latest in RA apparel or watch the cars come to life.

Special thanks to:
The RA volunteers
Horvath Design – detailing the cars
Berlin Raceway – racing simulator
The Screen Print Dept – 2016 RA apparel

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Racing Awareness’ Ben Welch Racing Super Lates in 2016

Grand Rapids, MI (October 20, 2015) – RacingAwareness.com announced today that its 17 year old driver, Ben Welch, would drive one the team’s two Super Lates in 2016. Welch, a senior at Coopersville High School, will run the full super late schedule at the Berlin Raceway contending for Rookie of the Year honors in the upcoming season. Welch has driven the past two years for RA in the team’s 97L Modified, where he captured four feature wins and the 2015 Track Championship.

Ben has been on the fast track since age 7 when he first jumped in the seat of a go-kart and has been racing ever since. Following success at a young age, turning right and left on area kart tracks, in 2010, Mike Welch, Ben’s dad, decided to try Ben at Winston Speedway on the dirt oval. The experiment proved successful, as he claimed his first ever feature win in a full-body stock car!

Ben first caught the eye of Racing Awareness co-owner Jeff Striegle in 2012, when Ben, then age 14, moved to Berlin and was driving a modified for a different team. “Ben started alongside our car on the restart. I thought we would just run away from him, but that kid hung with us for several laps and raced us very clean. I knew who he was before that but wanted to know more about him after that”. Two years later Ben was driving for RacingAwareness.com; winning a feature in his very first start.

In 2016, Ben will begin a new chapter in his racing career by competing full time in the highly competitive super late model series at Berlin. Ben ran four times in the JEGS / CRA All-Star Tour in 2015 (a traveling crate motor super late series) and in addition to his commitment to Berlin, plans to do a limited schedule with the family owned car again in 2016. “We are going to try and race as much as we can”. Welch said about his upcoming plans “I want as much seat time as I can get. I enjoy the JEGS Series a lot but my focus will be on Berlin and trying to improve each week”.

Striegle thinks Ben’s weekly progression should be rapid and noticeable. “This is a young man with a lot of natural talent. He’s great athlete, and has all the characteristics necessary to be a great race car driver”. In addition to auto racing, during his high school career, Ben competed with the basketball team and most recently on the Coopersville Men’s tennis team in the #1 Doubles. Welch and partner Caleb Wiegerink, closed out their high school tennis careers by finishing 3rd in their conference. Both Welch and Wiegerink were voted to the OK Blue All Conference team by the conference coaches in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Ben, while attending school, is also employed at Van Doorn Racing Development. “We are proud to be partnered with VRD and having Ben there is added bonus. The unique thing for him is he is learning both on and off the track, something that will be key to his growth and on track success”, stated Racing Awareness co-owner, Norm Jelsma.

Look for Ben Welch in the RA 67L super late when the season opens at the Berlin Raceway in April of 2016. RacingAwareness.com will campaign three cars in 2016, including Ben and Dave Lake who will be driving the 97L Modified. RA will make its third and final driver announcement regarding the team’s second super late by the end of October.

Look for the entire RA team of drivers and volunteers at the Michigan International Auto Show, January 28 – 31, 2016, at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.To be a part of RacingAwareness.com, supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as a volunteer or team partner/sponsor, contact us via email at racingawareness97@gmail.com

The Untold Story About Tony Stewart That Became the Foundation for RacingAwareness.com

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On Wednesday, Tony Stewart announced to race fans around the world that 2016 would be his last behind the wheel of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car. Many could see the handwriting on the wall, many more hoped this day 12087764_1008284762556234_3872451188615400573_owould never come.

After the season finale in Homestead,14 months from now, NASCAR will lose one of the most talented drivers ever to strap into a racing machine of any kind. Few drivers possess the ability, drive, tenacity, desire, passion, enthusiasm, and pure heart as Stewart does. His accomplishments are many, most notably, his three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships.

Stewart has won at every level of motorsports including a World Karting Association Championship in 1987, and in 1995 became the first driver ever to win the USAC Triple Crown. In 1997, Tony won the IRL championship before turning his attention towards a Hall of Fame career in NASCAR. Stewart has competed on “hometown” tracks and super speedways across North America ; everywhere, every weekend, giving 100%. There may be no one more charismatic than Tony Stewart!

Chances are, you already know this about Tony. You already know that he is one of our sport’s biggest stars, and you already know he is one of the greatest drivers.

Now, let us share with you a story about Tony Stewart, the person, that you might not know. This is a story not about his talents on the track but rather his heart off it. In fact, without this story, we wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading this story on RacingAwareness.com. We take you back to August 2007, when we were asked to help a boy, and now our long time friend, Tristan, fulfill his dream.

Tristan, age 10 at the time, had been living with an illness that was potentially life threatening. His family wanted to provide him with the opportunity to meet his hero, Tony Stewart.

It was Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway, Tristan and his family were invited to the track, and the Gordon Food Service hospitality suite that we managed, with little detail about what they were going to experience. At the same time, Tony was having a typical Friday of practice and qualifying. As the afternoon and the on track activities came to a close, the opportunity to bring Tristan and Tony together finally came. Still unbeknownst to anyone of what was next, Tristan was swept off on a golf cart for a personal whirlwind tour of the facility, while his family was escorted to the driver/owner motorcoach lot where the meeting was scheduled to occur. The anticipation for us was overwhelming as the meeting time approached.

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Tristan arrived on time, just out front of Stewart’s personal RV, but Tony wasn’t ready, so the meeting time came and passed. The group waited patiently as other drivers passed by noticing the large group. Each driver inquired if we needed assistance which quickly turned into a warm greeting, pictures and autographs for Tristan. Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, were great to meet but the hope of meeting Tony overshadowed the moment.

After watching Tony’s coach from afar and the flurry of activity that surrounded it, we weren’t sure if the meeting was meant to be, but then, as planned, Tony emerged. He approached the group, still in his fire suit and shoes and with an outstretched hand, he said ‘you must be Tristan’. The waiting and any anxiety faded instantly as Tony invited Tristan to his home away from home where he proceeded to spend the next hour with Tristan and his dad like they were long time friends. Their time together was genuinely magical. Tony also provided Tristian with a bag full of memorabilia including a 1/24th scale version of his #20, Home Depot Chevrolet.

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To conclude the visit, Tony invited Tristan and his dad to Victory Lane if he won on Sunday. For those that understand the logistics of traveling to and from MIS, getting fans to Victory Lane and that the August 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at MIS wasn’t held until Tuesday due to rain, you will appreciate what happened next.

After Tristan’s visit with Tony on Friday, he and his family returned on Sunday as they had planned, however, Sunday’s event was postponed due to rain. Not expecting to see Tristan again, we were very surprised when he showed up in the suite on Monday. During that day, the rain continued and many of the race teams were exploring the suite area simply to stay dry. Then, they came across Tristan. One by one, Tristan was visited by race teams, drivers and provided tours of haulers and pit road. Watching Tristan experience this was overwhelming. But again, Mother Nature would have the final say and would postpone the event to Tuesday. As difficult as it was for them, Tristan and dad again returned on Tuesday. Tony’s chances of putting the #20 in Victory Lane at MIS were really good that year and Tristan was determined to not o nly see it but share it with his hero.12138389_1008273995890644_6539094138950508858_o 12087260_1008283335889710_1610499325512445667_o

 

 

 

 

The green flag finally flew on Tuesday morning, but the event was yet again delayed, this time by fog! With the red flag hanging from the starter’s stand, we all sat and waited. During the delay, the media was in search of creative stories to fill the extended broadcast. During this time we were surprised to be visited by Tristan’s new crew member friends who came up from Pit Road but also an ESPN TV crew! Yes, Tristan was even the feature of a Mike Massaro interview. He was the focus of everyone. Only a Stewart win would have made the weekend more amazing! The wish of an ill child had been fulfilled by Tony and the supporting NASCAR cast!
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Tony didn’t win that day, at least not on the track. But as a person, he showed many what type of individual he is. He handed a child he didn’t know, a memory that will last a lifetime; he handed us an idea. The idea became, RacingAwareness.com supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Tony has meant a lot to this RA team. In fact there might not have been an RA team if it wasn’t for the time between a child and his hero. We are not sure that Tony even knows all of this, and even if he did know, he would more than likely deflect the credit away from him, t12068453_1008284692556241_412124327653823056_ohat’s just his style.

We asked Tony, ‘with such an amazing appreciation for kids, why we don’t see this side of you played out on TV’? Stewart replied something to the effect of, it’s not about TV, or what the fans see, it’s about the kids and that’s all that matters. We couldn’t agree more.

Thank you Tony Stewart for everything you have delivered, both on and off the track! We hope you enjoy everything that the future has in store, and if returning to the Berlin Raceway should ever be in those plans, we have a car waiting.

2015 RacingAwareness.com Charity Golf Outing Powered by Consumers Credit Union

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The RacingAwareness.com Charity Golf Outing Powered by Consumers Credit Union is just around the corner!  RacingAwareness.com is looking forward to seeing all of the golfers, new and returning, while raising funds and awareness for The Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC) at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.  NMTRC Chair, Dr. Giselle Sholler, MD MSC, will be on hand to share information on the groundbreaking work being done by the NMTRC at HDVCH and how the event’s proceeds will advance the consortium’s efforts.  

We are also excited to have participating in the event, NASCAR Hall of Fame Driver, Rusty Wallace, who will be golfing and will address golfers during dinner.   

The 2016 RacingAwareness.com Charity Golf Outing, powered by Consumers Credit Union is sold out.  Please contact RacingAwareness.com via email at racingawareness97@gmail.com.  if you

are interested in playing and being placed on a wait list in the event of a cancellation,

Event Details; Monday September 14, 2015
Thousand Oaks Golf Club
1400 Thousand Oaks Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Shotgun start at 11:00 am with registration opening at 9:30 am
Lunch and dinner provided
Social timing and dinner immediately following golf with silent and live auction.  

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This year’s auctions will again feature one of a kind items!  Highlighted items include a custom painted Gibson guitar by the Official Artist of NASCAR, Sam Bass, Ford  autographed helmet with 4 tickets to the 2016 June NASCAR event at Michigan International Speedway, autographed Jack Nicklaus putter, corporate BBQ lunch prepared at your location for your employees, and a custom autographed Rusty Wallace ‘Last Call’ framed print.  Additional items include, sporting event tickets, airfare and Disney vouchers, chef prepared in home dinner with live music, NASCAR Pit Road Experience, cooking school and personal trainer sessions.  Something for everyone!

Questions regarding the outing can be emailed to racingawareness97@gmail.com

Joe Bush: the Ninth Driver to Win for Racing Awareness

Joe Bush: the Ninth Driver to Win for Racing Awareness   

Short track racing veteran, Joe Bush of Hastings, MI, claimed the Super Late Model feature at the Berlin Raceway

2010 Mike Bursley
2010
Mike Bursley

on Saturday night July 11, 2015.  This was the 3 time track champion’s first win driving for Racing Awareness.  The win also continued the streak of every driver that has driven an Racing Awareness car capturing a feature win.

Bush who is expected to end his highly successful racing career at the end of the 2015 season, joins a long list of Racing Awareness feature winners.

  • Mike Bursley (2), along with NASCAR stars AJ Allmendinger (1) and Mike Skinner (1), combined for 4 feature wins in the first year of Racing Awareness competition in 2010.

    2010 AJ Allmendinger
    2010
    AJ Allmendinger
  • In 2011, Dave Lake won the Modified track championship winning 7 times. In the same year, hometown stars, Johnny Benson Jr, (1) and Brian Campbell (1) each won in the team’s Super Late Model.
  • In 2012 (4) and 2013 (4), Kevin DeGood was in victory lane 8 times driving the team’s modified.
  • Ben Welch has gone to victory lane a total of 3 times at the wheel of the modified in 2014 (1) & 2015 (2).

In all, Racing Awareness drivers have scored 25 feature wins along with one track championship.

2010 Mike Skinner
2010
Mike Skinner
2011 - 2015 Dave Lake
2011 – 2015
Dave Lake
2011 - Johnny Benson, Jr
2011 – Johnny Benson, Jr

 

 

 

 

 

2011 Brian Campbell
2011
Brian Campbell
2012-13 Kevin DeGood
2012-13
Kevin DeGood
2014  - 2015 Ben Welch
2014 – 2015
Ben Welch
2015 Joe Bush
2015
Joe Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off and Running in 2015!

RacingAwareness.com is off and running in 2015!

Man y Thanks! As February comes to a close, RacingAwareness.com would like to recap the month’s activities and     thank everyone that made the kick off of 2015 a HUGE Success!

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We will start with the biggest news first. RacingAwareness.com has topped $200,000 in total charity funds raised in support of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital over the past five years! Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! We are so grateful to all of you that have supported RA.com since the beginning.

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February started with a bang with the Michigan International Auto Show where the 2015 Racing Awareness cars were debuted! RA volunteers donated over 700 volunteer hours where they spoke to show attendees about Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and race cars!

The Auto Show was amazing with the decaling of the 97L Modified and 101L Super Late with Horvath Design’s own Tim Horvath. The weekend also included Super Hands for the April 25
running of the RA Modified. The Pit Crew Challenge was also a new addition to the show,
where Eric and Angela took top honors in the mens’ and womens’ divisions.IMG_9805

The RacingAwareness.com team was joined by Consumers Credit Union throughout the show as CCU brought the Prize Wheel to all who made a donation. Thank you to the show attendees and wonderful community merchants and organizations that donated to make the activities a success!

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Boardwalk Subs Waterworks Car Wash
Oswald’s Brewing Quick Time Burritos & Tacos
Craig’s Cruisers Uchello’s
Maple Hill Golf Miller Lite
Consumers Credit Union Screen Print Department

Cars moved out and golfers moved into the DeVos Place, where theRA.com team joined Golfcore – Schueller the following weekend at the West Michigan Golf Show to work on the Longest Drive and $10,000 putting contests. While the holiday weekend and Mother Nature had something to say about attendance Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s turnout was awesome
and every person in attendance was a golfer looking forward to hitting the links in the spring. DSC_5956
Thank you to everyone that stopped by to say hello and that participated in the activities.

 

RacingAwareness.com would like to send a special thank you to our friends at ShowSpan for their partnership with show breakfasts for the RV and Remodeling & New Homes Shows as well as their phonominal coolaboartion with the Michigan International Auto Show and West Michigan Golf Show. Their involvement and support of the West DSC_5975Michigan community is unsurpassed! Great people doing GREAT things!

In there too, RA released our new racing appeal for 2015 and relaunched our Twitter Updates
@RacingAwareness. All that, and the NASCAR series opened the 2015 racing season with
Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway where the action did not disappoint.

We would be remiss if we didn’t call our friends from Travis Truck and Auto Collision for their beautiful paint work on each of the three RA cars. Thank you also to Baker Engineering for their unwavering support of RA, and to each of our partners, all which are returning for the 2015 season. We’ll have more on each of these great organization in the months to come.

So we’re off, both on and off the track. The RA teams will now shift their attention to final details for the race DSC_5800teams as they prepare the three RA cars for the team’s season opener at the Berlin Raceway on Saturday April 25.

Follow RA throughout the year and our Quest 4 A Quarter (‪#‎Quest4AQuarter‬) as we work towards a quarter of a million dollars raised in support of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital by year end.

Five Years of Think Outside Yourself Radiothon

A vision just over six years ago became reality on December 17, 2010. On that day RacingAwareness.com lived out a goal of being a day partner of the STAR 105.7 FM Think Outside Yourself Radiothon. Held at Celebration Cinema

This is where it all began ... Lexi, Logan and Logan present the first RA.com check to HDVCH.  Some many memories have followed.  These pictures capture just a few.
This is where it all began … Lexi, Logan and Logan present the first RA.com check to HDVCH. Some many memories have followed. These pictures capture just a few.

South, three current and former Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital patients, that became the inspiration behind RA.com, Lexi Adgate, Logan Breuker and Logan Muyskens, presented a check on behalf of RA.com, to the hospital for $35,000 marking the beginning of what has become an amazing journey.

To date, RacingAwareness.com, a Michigan based nonprofit charity, has raised just shy of $200,000 in support of sick and injured kids of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

This week marks the 15th annual Think Outside Yourself Radiothon, presented by STAR 105.7 FM. The Radiothon will be hosted by morning show hosts Tommy and Brooke and afternoon host Kelly Iris.  The two day Radiothon is held inside the lobby of HDVCH and the public is welcome to stop by, visit and make a donation. STAR 105.7 FM is known as the Christmas station in West Michigan this time of year.

Lexi and Maranda 2010.  From HDVCH patient and 8th grader in 2010, to Grand Valley State freshman in 2014.
Lexi and Maranda 2010. From HDVCH patient and 8th grader in 2010, to Grand Valley State freshman in 2014.

RacingAwareness.com will celebrate the end of year five by again partnering with the station as the day sponsor for this Friday, December 12th. RA.com volunteers and race team members along with HDVCH patients will be staffing the phones beginning at 6 am on Friday. Meijer is the day partner for Thursday.

Tune in to Star 105.7 FM this Thursday and Friday, from 6 am to 6 pm, December 11 and 12 and help our kids!  Hear stories from patients and their families about the life-changing care they received at West Michigan’s only full-service children’s hospital.  One of the many RA.com family of kids, Kierstynn Foster, who has become a regular part of the radiothon, will be with us again this year for our radio interview at 7:45 am and will then staff the phones to take your donation from 8-10am.  Kierstynn has become a virtual poster child for HDVCH and the Radiothon,

2011, another $35,000.  #Proud STAR 105.7's Tommy & Brooke, RA's Norm Jelsma and Jeff Striegle and the AMAZING Kierstynn Foster.
2011, another $35,000. #Proud
STAR 105.7’s Tommy & Brooke, RA’s Norm Jelsma and Jeff Striegle and the AMAZING Kierstynn!

overcoming her illness under the care of the medical team from HDVCH.

In 2013, the Radiothon raised more than $175,000 for HDVCH to help launch and maintain programs, support staff education, advance innovation and research, and purchase new state-of-the art technology. HDVCH is leading the way in pediatric medicine.  Children from across the state and beyond are seeking care at our children’s hospital. In 2013, nearly 200,000 children received care as inpatients and outpatients at HDVCH.

Speaking of 200,000, that is the financial goal for this year’s event! These gifts will help us continue to touch the lives of kids like  Brooke and Briana.  We need your help to reach this goal!

Please pledge your support and Think Outside Yourself this holiday season. Yes, it is a busy time of year! Yes, you probably have shopping to do! Yes, you will probably spend too much money on Christmas gifts that will gone unused. There is however, one gift that would be guaranteed to be used and appreciated … donate today … you can do that in matter of minutes at www.racingawareness.com, select Donate Now.

Each of the past five years has concluded with participation as day sponsor in the radiothon. To date, RacingAwareness.com has rasied just shy of $200,000 in support of the sick and injuried kids of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Follow us all week here on facebook and on our website as we lead up to this very special day.

 

Volunteer Today!

RacingAwarness.com Needs You!
RacingAwarness.com Needs You!

A week from today is Thanksgiving. Some will stay home and have family over while others will travel and visit family. The common thread is family.

Unfortunately not everyone will have a choice where they spend their Thanksgiving. For many, perhaps more than 100 families, their Thanksgiving will be spent with the amazing staff of people from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Sick and injured children from all parts of the country and from your neighborhood, will not be enjoying turkey dinners and Lions football, but be holding hands and in some cases holding on to hope.

It is for this reason that we volunteer to raise money in an effort to support these families in all ways possible. It is for this reason that we ask you to volunteer. It is for this reason that we ask for your support with us this weekend, before you turn your attention to your family and to your celebration.

Emergency room calls, admissions and surgeries at HDVCH are 24/7, they will not stop for the weekend or a holiday. While we can’t be with the children and their families as the endure clinics and procedures, we can offer our time in their honor to raise funds and awareness. The time of a child’s first cancer surgery often times is 4 to 8 hours … we are asking for 5 ½ hours. Please consider volunteering. Please click here: http://vols.pt/wHeKXd to sign up for 2014 GR Wine, Beer & Wine Show on @VolunteerSpot today!

Not able to volunteer but would like to support by making a financial donation?  Select the Donate Now button to the right.  100% of all donations go to support Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.