Charity Golf Outing Set for September / Thousand Oaks Golf Club

Monday September 12, 2016
What:    7th Annual 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
Depositphotos_6608960_original.jpg 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 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:

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

• 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

• One complimentary foursome
• Tee sign sponsor of hole
• Recognition on Chairman’s Round-table Display

• One complimentary foursome
• Tee sign sponsor of hole

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 sign sponsor of hole


Lake Wins Modified Season Opener


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 97L modified at the Berlin Raceway.



ICEBREAKER Berlin Raceway


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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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,, 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) – 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; 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. 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, supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as a volunteer or team partner/sponsor, contact us via email at


The Untold Story About Tony Stewart That Became the Foundation for



POSTED OCTOBER 5, 2015: A story long before
Where did RA come from and what was the motivation … here is your answer.

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 the track. In fact, without this story, we wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading this story on 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. There was no certainty that Tristan would have many chances.

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 one-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 only 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!


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, 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 Charity Golf Outing Powered by Consumers Credit Union


The Charity Golf Outing Powered by Consumers Credit Union is just around the corner! 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 Charity Golf Outing, powered by Consumers Credit Union is sold out.  Please contact via email at  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.  

race for awareness guitar 8

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

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






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







Off and Running in 2015! is off and running in 2015!

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


We will start with the biggest news first. 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 since the beginning.


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 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!

Berlin Raceway ShowSpan DSC_5968
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 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. 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 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 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 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, Lexi Adgate, Logan Breuker and Logan Muyskens, presented a check on behalf of, to the hospital for $35,000 marking the beginning of what has become an amazing journey.

To date,, 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. will celebrate the end of year five by again partnering with the station as the day sponsor for this Friday, December 12th. 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 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, select Donate Now.

Each of the past five years has concluded with participation as day sponsor in the radiothon. To date, 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.