RA Presents: Bring A Family To The Races

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

March 1, 2018: We are excited to announce that the RacingAwareness.com, in conjunction with Berlin Raceway , “Bring A Family To The Races” promotion is back for 2018.  This marks the fourth year of this family promotion. Last year, every date was filled with a deserving family and treated to a night at the track. Don’t delay, (see below) dates will go quick.

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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 2018, RacingAwareness.com will make that opportunity available to families with an evening at the Berlin Raceway.

Each week that the 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 2018.

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 or adult.
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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 using the contact information provided below.

 

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RA Begins Ninth Year in 2018

The Mission of RacingAwareness

RacingAwareness.com and Racing Awareness Inc. are two separate entities that were created with the sole intent of providing children and their families from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, of West Michigan, who are experiencing or have experienced an illness or injury of a child, a diversion from the healthcare process utilizing the sport of auto racing.

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Lexi (pictured with NASCAR driver Joey Lagono – her favorite) became an inspiration of ours on the first day we met.  Today she drives her own race cars.

Through visits to the race track, autograph cards, driver meet and greets, phone calls, photographs, personal visits and so much more, Racing Awareness strives to provide joy and hope to these children and their families.  In addition, both Racing Awareness Inc. and RacingAwareness.com have aspired to raise funds and awareness and share education about Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and the nationally recognized resources it offers to the community. This is achieved through various initiatives including fundraisers, public expo appearances and special events as well as public and private donations.

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Brooke Hester – HDVCH Night, June 2013
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RacingAwareness.com supporting            Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racing Awareness Inc. and RacingAwareness.com
as developed by Jeff Striegle and Norm Jelsma – March of 2010

Jeff Striegle, Racing Awareness Inc., owner and RacingAwarness.com President
Gordon Food Service Store, Sales Specialist with 21 years of service / Retired
Motor Racing Network, NASCAR radio broadcaster with 20 years of service.

Norm Jelsma, Racing Awareness Inc., owner and RacingAwareness.com
Vice President National Sales Representative, with 23 years of service
Berlin Raceway, retired public address announcer with 18 years of service

Phil Kowatch, MST, CPA, Treasure of RacingAwareness.com & Inc.
Partner in Korte & Kowatch Accounting and Consulting firm since 2008 

RA, it will always be about the kids …

 

 

“Racing Awareness has come to mean so much to our family since its creation.  The impact it has made on Logan emotionally and socially will far outlast more than anyone can imagine.  It gives him something to look forward to and it lets him know that there are so many more people out there that care about him.  He has been given respect despite his disability and the dollars raised will greatly affect the care of thousands of other sick or hurting kids”.
Karen Breuker
HDVCH patient parent

 

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Logan Breuker, here applying the “L” that goes in every RA number, became an inspiration the day that we met him.

 RacingAwareness.com 
Established in March of 2010, RacingAwareness.com is a Michigan based 501c3 nonprofit charity based in Grand Rapids Michigan.  RacingAwareness.com’s efforts are focused on raising awareness and funds to launch and sustain programs and services provided by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation.

First Check Donation in 2010
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RacingAwarenes.com achieves this goal through the unique niche centered around auto racing. In tandem with Racing Awareness Inc, RacingAwareness.com provides patients and their families with an opportunity to experience auto racing as a diversion from the stresses of the healthcare process.  In addition, RacingAwareness.com has been able to reach a distinctive audience to raise awareness and funds.  RacingAwareness.com donates 100% of all proceeds to HDVCH. To date, RacingAwareness.com has raised more than $350,000 in support of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

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Dr. Sholler, the Chair of Beat Childhood Cancer (formerly NMTRC) and Director of Pediatric Oncology Research at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, excepts a check from RA for $43,000 in 2017. An additional $10,000 was donated to the HDVCH foundation.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
The Place, Its Professionals And Who They Serve
The opening of the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on 1-11-11 marked a new era of children’s health care in West Michigan. The 206-bed, 14-floor, 464,000 square foot facility represents more than four decades of steady progress in improving pediatric care and bringing pediatric specialists to the region.

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Now more than 7,600 children of every age, annually have a hospital dedicated to their unique health care needs. All of the care is provided by pediatric nurses, therapists and clinicians and there are more than 150 pediatric specialist physicians in 40 pediatric specialties.

RacingAwareness Inc. 
In 2018 Racing Awareness Inc. will launch into its ninth competitive season of short track racing at the Berlin Raceway located in Marne, Michigan, just outside of Grand Rapids.   The team competes with two cars in the Super Late Model division, the Modified division and the Mini Wedge division.  In addition to being a championship winning race team (2011, 2015, 2016 & 2017) Modified Division – 2016 Super Late Model Division) and 2017 Mini Wedge Division, RA Inc. exists to market and promote RacingAwareness.com supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital with all cars competing under the HDVCH logo and colors.
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The use of race cars as a marketing tool to promote and build awareness for HDVCH was also geared towards the children of the hospital.  RA has enjoyed success both on and off the track by offering experiences in motorsports to children and their families that they would otherwise most likely not be able to experience.               

 

 

 

Over the past eight years, more than 5,000 patients, families and staff associated with HDVCH have visited the Berlin Raceway (and Michigan International Speedway) on behalf of Racing Awareness.  Kids and their families have experienced driver meet and greets, pace car and race car rides, delivering the command to start engines, waiving the green flag, just to mention a few.   RA has even delivered the racing experience by making personal hospital and home visits to young race fans that are not able to make it to the race track.

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RA volunteers (our own SuperHeros) interact with the real SuperHeros; the kids from HDVCH

Community Service
RacingAwareness.com is a 100% volunteer based nonprofit charity proving service within the West Michigan community.  RacingAwareness.com would not be able to do what it does without its many dedicated volunteers, many of whom are providing community service for the very first time.  From manning the phones at the STAR 105.7 Think Outside Yourself Radiothon, to opening the 2016 Michigan International Auto Show, to participating in the West Michigan Golf Show, to the RacingAwareness.com bowling event and the annual RacingAwareness.com charity golf outing, RacingAwareness.com volunteers are active in providing awareness, education and fundraising year round.

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This amazing young lady has been an inspiration to many. Here, Kierstynn Foster Rosema sits in on the STAR 105.7 Radiothon supporting HDVCH


Partnership Information
Unique opportunities for children and their families are not always possible with just good intentions and volunteers.  Programs such as those executed by Racing Awareness require financial support to succeed.  Today, Racing Awareness Inc enjoys partnerships with some of the country’s cornerstone businesses and organizations.  RA welcomes all inquires for partnerships. To inquire how you can be involved, contact Jeff Striegle at jeff@racingawareness.com

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Stay Up To Date
Follow us on Facebook, search RacingAwareness.com supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and on Twitter and Instagram @racingawareness. There you will find up to date information regarding both the Racing Awareness race team and our charity efforts.
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Yes, we race and when we do, we give it 100%.  But we are so much more than a race team.  Our Annual Charity Golf Outing has sold out every year (8 straight). Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital night at Berlin Raceway, presented by RacingAwareness.com is one of the most successful events in track history. For each of our eight years, the RA team has been invited to the annual Michigan International Auto Show in Grand Rapids as a featured attraction. We are involved in the community through various fundraising events. We are passionate & proud of what we have done and look forward to making a difference in the future.
We believe in Giving Back. 

 

 

2017 RacingAwareness.com Charity Golf Outing

The 8th Annual RacingAwareness.com Charity Golf Outing 
presented by Festida​ and Vanderhyde Ford​ is SOLD OUT for the 8th year in a row.

You can still be a part of the event through partnership, donations and auction items. To find out more, email us at racingawareness97@gmail.com

Date: Monday September 18, 2017
Tee Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Thousand Oaks Golf Club​

This golf outing supports Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital​.

Cost: $700.00 per foursome
Includes:
18-hole scramble & cart
Complimentary Miller Lite happy hour follows
Cookout lunch on the course / dinner that follows
Golf prizes / raffle prizes / 50/50 raffle
Silent auction / Live auction
Sponsor opportunities available

This event has SOLD OUT each of the first seven years – find out why

For additional information, support or to reserve your foursome, email us at RacingAwareness97@gmail.com

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BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND Bring A Family To The Races, 2017 – Presented by RacingAwareness.com

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

March 1, 2017: We are excited to announce that the RacingAwareness.com “Bring A Family To The Races” promotion is back for 2017.  Last year, e6bbe4-blog12b7-10-20162b4-55-362bamvery date was filled with a deserving family and treated to a night at the track. Don’t delay, dates will go quick.

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 2017, RacingAwareness.com will make that opportunity available to families with an evening at the Berlin Raceway.

Each week that the 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 2017.IMG_7372

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 using the contact information provided below.

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Ready to GO (GREEN)!

Here is a quick look at the two newest drivers for the RA Team in 2017.
* TOP: Tony Caputo – driver of the 97L Mini Wedge
* BOTTOM: Nate Walton – driver of the 66L Super Late Model
* SEE DRIVER & team stats here: https://racingawareness.com/events
This is also a new look for us. Gone is the blue (for this year), in is the GREEN.  See all of the “new look” RA cars here after we get through practice on April 15.

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2016 Charity Donation Tops $50,000

The 2016 RacingAwareness.com charity donation was delivered on March 22 to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids MI. and it topped $50K for the second year in a row (https://www.spectrumhealth.org/locations/spectrum-health-hospitals-helen-devos-childrens-hospital).

$43,000 went towards childhood cancer research and the http://www.NMTRC.org.
An additional $10,000 was dedicated to the HDVCH Foundation. The donations were expected by Dr. Sholler and Dr. Fahner.

The 2016 donation raises the RA total giving to HDVCH to more than $315,000 since the beginning in 2010. “This is just all about our volunteers and the West Michigan community, that without them, none of this would be possible” said RA co-owner Jeff Striegle. “We are inching our way closer and closer to a half-a-million dollars, one dollar at a time”. 

 

See more at: https://www.facebook.com/RacingAwareness

RACINGAWARENESS.com ADDS FOURTH CAR FOR 2017 RACE SEASON

Tuesday November 8, 2016 – Grand Rapids, MI

Does your child or one you know, have dreams of being racing’s next superstar? Has your child or one you know, overcome illness or injury through the care of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital?  If you answered yes to both, we want to hear from you!

RacingAwareness.com announced today, the addition of a fourth car for the 2017 season at the Berlin Raceway.  The fourth RA car will be a Mini Wedge to be driven by a child, selected by RacingAwareness.com, that has an affiliation to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital.  The entire RA family is thrilled about this new addition to the team, and looks forward to welcoming this young boy or girl and their family.    

The Mini Wedge division (Mini Wedge Racing) is a new addition to the Berlin Raceway line up in 2017, racing on a portion of the front stretch in front of the main grandstands. RA will be providing, at minimum, a brand new Mini Wedge race car and trailer to the driver and their family.   Mini Wedge racing does not require a Sprint Cup Series Crew Chief or crew, just a child that wants to race and a parent or guardian that is dedicated to supporting the pursuit of their child’s dream.  

The racing window of opportunity is now open!  RacingAwareness.com is now accepting applications through Friday November 25 at noon EST, for young people interested in driving the RA 97L Mini Wedge in 2017.  

Interested parties, please send an email to RacingAwareness97@gmail.com and include the following mandatory pieces of information.  

Parent / Guardian’s information:

  • First and last name
  • Primary phone number
  • Primary email address
  • Hometown

Child’s Information

  • First and last name;
  • Birthdate;
  • Grade for the 2016-17 school year;
  • Provide detail on any motorized experience, please be as specific as possible;
  • Please provide a brief description of the child’s affiliation to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital;

Additional Information:  

  • Learn more about what to expect by visiting Mini Wedge Racing
  • Child must have an affiliation to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Child must be between the age of 6 to 12 years old
  • Motorized experience; dirtbikes, ATV, go carts, helpful but not required.
  • Mini Wedge and trailer are the proerity of RacingAwareness.com
  • Safety gear, helmet and suit provided by the driver and family  
  • Car maintained by the driver and family
  • 2017 Berlin Raceway schedule has not yet been released.  

A Day to Remember – For all of us!

Saturday was a day we will all remember, not for what anyone did, but for who we met!

A letter from Rhyse’s mom …
Thank you Heather, for allowing us to share time with your son and family.

We don’t know what to say, or how to say it.  I hope our faces-at least in part–spoke of our gratitude for your organization RacingAwareness.com and for your kindness towards total strangers. The past four years have been the hardest years of our lives.  Fraught with constant illnesses, accumulating diagnoses, cancer scares, debilitating malnutrition, and health care split between two different health systems our lives have been forever changed. We have learned to live differently, love differently, and hold on a little tighter to each moment.

In the first three and a half years there were no outings, no mom and dad dates, no trips to the beach, just living in the moment–from crisis to crisis and hospitalization to hospitalization.  The past 12 months have not been easy either, with winter virus’s constantly beating his little body down, and fighting a never ending battle against weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration, despite his feeding tube.

Behind Rhyse’s cute, little smile and fire engine red hair is a fragile, medically complex little man. Rhyse was born with Noonan Syndrome. A syndrome that affects every single cell in his body, to differing degrees.  From oral aversion/dysphagia he is unable to eat anything beyond a cracker or bread so he is tube fed.  With hypotonia (poor muscle tone) he is unable to do much of what a four year, nearly five year old can do: dress and undress himself, carry anything over a pound, open and close things, snap snaps, take his shoes on or off, etc.  With ulcerative colitis he is unable to be potty trained at this time, and endures 4 hour infusions every six weeks to suppress an already broken immune system opening him up to every virus and bacteria that passes by. He has slings in his eyelids (ptosis) to hold them above his pupils.  At night he wears a body brace in a hopeful attempt at straightening his curvy spine, all the while being attached to his feeding pump.  A wicked combination that makes every single night a battle against tangled feeding tube lines and a brace that restricts his movement. And the list goes on.

Every day childhood illnesses put kids like Rhyse in the hospital. And the fear and anxiety we as a family have faced, and still live with, goes well beyond words—and yet we have joy because he is joy!  And it truly is the little things that mean the most to all of us.


In Rhyse’s world anything on four wheels is heaven on earth! For every appointment, hospitalization or procedure a carefully chosen vehicle goes with him.  He lives and breathes cars, trucks, and emergency vehicles with engines that always need fixing and whose tires go flat–and tow trucks that save the day!  Since he was very little we have always said, “he must have a car gene in there somewhere!” So, as you can imagine, treating him and his family to a night at the raceway was the penultimate gift to him and us.  When he suffers we suffer, and when he has joy, we have joy!

Again, on behalf of my family, and the entire Noonan Syndrome family around the world, THANK YOU Jeff Striegle, Dave Lake, Lisa Davan, Erika Welch and the rest of the team for your kindness, humanness, autographs, invitation to victory lane, ride in the pace truck, and the most mind blowing, gifting the trophy to Rhyse!!!! What an amazing token of unselfishness that he will remember for the rest of his life!

 “RacingAwareness.com and Racing Awareness Inc. are two separate entities that were created with the sole intent of providing children and their families from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, of West Michigan, who are experiencing or have experienced an illness or injury of a child, a diversion from the healthcare process utilizing the sport of auto racing”. You can read all about the team, and the little boy who inspired the formation of Racing Awareness.com and Racing Awareness Inc. on their site.

Batman Returns To The Berlin Raceway!

Super Heros on a Super Night

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Friday, June 24 update to this post – Fireworks have been added!  See you there

For the third year in a row, BATMAN RETURNS to the Berlin Raceway, but this time the Caped Crusader will be bringing 16 friends to join in this celebration of kids!

Saturday Night, June 25th, it’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital night at the track, presented by RacingAwareness.com (a 501c3 nonprofit). See the three HDVCH cars in action, meet the drivers and experience the excitement of auto racing at one of the country’s best family friendly facilities.

Kids young and old will enjoy Spiderman, Wonder Women, Super Man and, making their first ever Berlin Raceway appearance, the Ninja Turtles! Super Heros will be ready for photos, fun and games from 5 to 8p and join the drivers during the scheduled autograph session.

Family and staff associated with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital can pick up free tickets to the event inside the library while supplies last, courtesy of RacingAwareness.com.

All kids 11 and under receive FREE admission – first 250 receive a FREE hot dog and Craig’s Cruisers activity. Racing includes, Super Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman and 4-cylinders.  Adult tickets $12 Gates open at 3p

RacingAwareness.com is a 100% volunteer, West Michigan 501c3 nonprofit charity formed in 2010. To date RA has raised just shy of $300,000 in support of HDVCH. Financially, we support NMTRC, The Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium under the direction of Dr. Giselle Sholler MD MSC Chair, through the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. See more NMTRC on how Dr. Giselle is leading the way, worldwide, in the fight against this life threatening illness.

Scheduled to appear, Bat Man, Bat Girl, Super Man, Spider Man, Spider Women, Wonder Women, Black Widow, The Hulk, Flash, Justice, Super Girl, Pink Power Ranger, Captain America and the Ninja Turtles.