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.

Tony CaputoIMG_8095

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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.

Charity Golf Outing Set for September / Thousand Oaks Golf Club

Monday September 12, 2016
What:    7th Annual RacingAwareness.com Charity Golf Outing presented by Festida Foods and Vanderhyde Ford 

Where:    Thousand Oaks Golf Course

The marquee event of the year, held at the beautiful Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids. The outing has been a complete sellout each of the prior six years so don’t delay in getting your foursome registered. For  information and/or to register, contact us at talktous@racingawareness.com
Depositphotos_6608960_original.jpg
RacingAwareness.com charity golf outing proceeds support 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 at  NMTRC  RacingAwareness.com is a 100% volunteer 501c3 nonprofit charity. All financial partnerships are charitable donations

Cost: $700 per foursome
Cost includes, golf, cart, lunch, happy hour, dinner,  auction and more.

Get involved in West Michigan and the health of our children by becoming a Team RA Charity Partner:

VICTORY LANE SPONSOR $5,000
Recognition as key sponsor on all promotions materials including but limited to:
• Headline inclusion on all golf outing invitations, facebook and website messaging
• Two (2) complimentary foursomes
• One on course and clubhouse entrance signage 4’ by 8’
• Tee sign sponsor with location preference
• Recognition on Champions Trophy Display
• Recognition and signage / Clubhouse / Dinner
• Company sponsorship gift

CHECKERED FLAG SPONSOR $2,500
• Recognition on all golf outing invitations, facebook and website messaging
• One complimentary foursome
• Tee sign sponsor of hole with location preference
• Recognition as lunch or appetizer sponsor
• Recognition on Champions Trophy Display
• Company sponsorship gift

GREEN FLAG SPONSOR $1,500
• One complimentary foursome
• Tee sign sponsor of hole
• Recognition on Chairman’s Round-table Display

WHITE FLAG SPONSOR $800
• One complimentary foursome
• Tee sign sponsor of hole

YOUR CHOICE $500
Choose one of the following sponsorship’s:
• Tee sign sponsor of hole, with a booth at the tee
• Longest Drive Sponsor
• Longest Putt Sponsor
• Closest to the Pin Sponsor
• Putting Green Sponsor
• Beverage Cart Sponsor

TEE SPONSOR $300
• Tee sign sponsor of hole

 

Lake Wins Modified Season Opener

041616-RA97-368

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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Season End

Team RA; September 6, 2014
Team RA; September 6, 2014

It seems to be the hardest, yet most rewarding post we do each year: the last one to close out our racing season. We are sure, even after five years as a team, that most don’t truly know who we are. We are a proud race team and an even prouder charity that is dedicated to kids first, raising money and racing.

This post is focused on racing and a thank you to the greatest team, we think, ever assembled at Berlin Raceway. We have accomplished a lot on the track, none of which would be possible without the efforts of each and every person that has been associated with Racing Awareness, the 97L Modified, the 55L Super Late and the 101L Super Late.

Our team gave selflessly and tirelessly, dedicated to success throughout 2014. Our team was there to celebrate with Ben Welch after winning his first ever Berlin Raceway feature. Our team was there supporting both Dave Lake and Joe Bush as they battled in the ultra-competitive Super Late division at Berlin Raceway, perhaps the toughest division of short track racing in the country. Again, to our immediate team and all those that helped out throughout the year: THANK YOU, because without you, there is no TEAM RA.

Racing Awareness Team –
Dave Lake – driver of the 55L Super Late
Joe Bush – driver of the 101L Super Late
Ben Welch – driver of the 97L Modified
Steve S, Shane D, Keith A, Jerry S, Patrick M, Bob M, Steve H, Mike W, Larry O, Don J, Mark D, Ray D, Nick S, Lauren B, Jason S, Dirk R, Denny P, Josh B, Scott D, Caleb B, Trina L, Meg W, Lorraine B, Mistie B, Kevin S, Jodi W, Cindy M, BJ B, Tami G, Tom G, and Liz J.

We would also like to thank our partners. Virtually every name on the sides of our race cars have been there since day one. Our partners are loyal, giving and most important of all, supportive of what we do and why. THANK YOU!

2014 Racing Awareness Partners – Performance Systematix, Baker Engineering, Request Foods, Keith Alexis – State Farm, Gordon Food Service, Festida Foods, Engine Pro, Vanderhyde Ford, Top Of The World Granite, Travis Truck & Auto Collision, Korte & Kowatch, Kendall Oil, The Screen Print Department, Van Manen Petroleum, Berger Chevrolet, Horvath Design and Enterprise Iron & Metal.

Many think that Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is sponsor … that has never been the case. HDVCH is simple the reason we race.