Kids Racing For Life – Charity Spotlight

Article by Terry Miller

Photos by Juha Lievonen and Lyndon Fox

Life can be interesting at times and often due to situations beyond our control. The test is often how we handle adverse situations and how thankful we are for the pleasant ones. Somewhere in here is a balance and a perspective that puts them all in their place. No matter which comes our way the best is to give to others whose life situations makes us put ours back into the proper perspective. Such was the case two weeks ago when an unexpected tragic event hit a group of us in my close knit “Porsche family”. It came after another wonderful Labor Day track weekend at Roebling and left some of us questioning “life”. One of the saving graces to that devastating situation was that the following weekend 8 of us had a  chance to put life back into a better perspective and to give back to about 100 children (ages 8 to 18 and their families) who all had advanced stages cancer.

“Kids Racing For Life” is a yearly event sponsored by the Porsche BMW Owners Group(PBOC) and Zoeller Racing Ministries at the famous and challenging Sebring International Speedway. These children and their families get a racer’s point of view the track; all seventeen difficult turns on a rough old track that is always challenging including turn 17 which really has no correct path. Yes, there is a DE (beginners and advanced solos) as well as two sprint races each day, but the real focus for the weekend is the children and their families.


Each day, for an hour and a half, kids are rounded up by an unbelievable group of volunteers and a “pit stop” of wonder occurs as each advanced solo driver or racer pulls 

into the very active “hot pits” to their pre- assigned child size pit stall. These wonderful volunteers open your “passenger” door, unbelts and extracts one child while another one is belted in with a helmet and neck brace on (there is even a pre made booster seat for the small ones). This “kid change pit stop” rivals any professional drivers change. The head “pit worker” gives you a thumbs up and clears the front of your car and you are off for another 3 to 4 laps.


These are not parade laps and the speed is dictated by the child with three main hand signs. Thumbs up go faster and faster and faster. Thumbs down for slow down and arm out the window as they are going to throw up. All six of mine were all thumbs up and wanted me to pass everyone and even the full race Dodge Viper. That wish I just could not grant even though I did try (he also had a “fast child” in his car). There is a special t-shirt which we all sign for the 100 plus mph club. It was truly “Kids Racing For Life” only with us as the drivers. For the rest of the day we also took out all the volunteers and other family members so needless to say my passenger race seat got a lot of use.


For two days these children and their families were housed, entertained in such fun ways (I liked the Angry Birds people) fed, and given unbelievable attention that made them hopefully for two days enjoy a bit more of their “life” with great memories to help them a bit in the difficult times. As one mother 


said to me “Thank You for making her child’s 

day as well as hers” and my reply with tears (I mean sweat ha ha) running down my face I said THANK YOU for you and your child making my day and being able to place all the events of the last week back into its proper perspective.


There are about 500 pictures for a free down load for anyone as the professional motor sports photographer (PhotosByJuha.com) 

who was there and donated these great shots to all. If you want a great smile please go see them. Hope to see you there next year for such a special event and a chance to place “life” back into its proper perspective.