Enjoying a warm summer day in Downtown Toronto outside The Hospital for Sick Children, which is called “SickKids” by the locals, some 50 children from the hospital were joined by IZOD IndyCar Racing Series Driver Oriol Servia, who drives for Panther Dreyer Reinbold Racing Team and a contingent of drivers from the Star Mazda and Indy Lights Racing Series including Connor De Phillippi, Petri Suvanto, Gustavo Menezes, Gabby Chaves and Zack Veach.
The visit was organized and sponsored by Racing for Kids (www.racingforkids.org), the Michigan based- nonprofit organization that uses the popularity of Motorsports to visit sick kids around the world.
The friendly and outgoing Servia and the other drivers autographed RFK baseball caps and hero cards, and took turns posing for pictures with the children and their proud parents, who were also offered an opportunity to sit in the RFK IZOD Indy Racing Series showcar, which was transported to the hospital just for the occasion.
Led by Sick Kids Child Life Specialist Suzie Petro and a host of Child Life Volunteers, the youngsters were brought outside to a courtyard meeting area to enjoy the summer temperatures and an opportunity to meet Servia, driver of the No. 22 IZOD INDYCAR Series car.
More than one patient and their parents promised Servia they would be cheering for him during the Honda Toronto Race on Sunday, July 8, 2012.
Adding to the excitement of the Racing for Kid/ Sick Kids Visit was the participation of CBC Television and CityTV, along with photographers from various print media outlets. Many of the sick kids were more than willing to pose for photos with their newly adopted favorite race car drivers.
Star Mazda Driver Zach Veach, who was preparing to race in his hometown of Toronto, said the RFK Visit was a wonderful experience and expressed a smiling response when asked if he was glad he made it to the Sick Kids Hospital.