Racing For Kids is making its debut in Brazil on April 27 and I’m delighted to be the IZOD IndyCar Series driver making the visit. Racing For Kids, which has been around for more than 22 years, visits at least 20 hospitals or child health institutions each year, mostly in the United States. Brazil will be the fifth country outside of the US that will benefit from a Racing For Kids visit. The other countries are Japan, Canada, Mexico and Australia.
The Sao Paulo visit came about when Pat Wright, executive director of Racing For Kids met up with me at a Dreyer & Reinbold event last fall. He mentioned that RFK would like to make a hospital visit in Sao Paulo like they do in the other race venues, but he wasn’t familiar with the city and didn’t know where would be a good place to visit.
I told him I’d see what I could do about connecting with a quality child health institution and enlisted the help of my sister, Ana Luiza, who works for Education First. Ana Luiza did some background research and recommended that Racing For Kids visit the Assistance Association for Disabled Children (AACD). So that’s what we’re going to do.
AACD is the biggest association in Brazil supporting physically disabled children. Founded in 1950, the association now has three units in Sao Paulo (with two more being built) and four units in other parts of Brazil. The facilities assist around 5000 children per day in all units together.
I am very pleased to be representing RFK on the visit. I have made several visits in the United States and have seen first hand the wonderful work Racing For Kids does with sick children. So I am very happy now to be able to bring that joy and excitement to the children of my own country.