To start off the year, once I was selected for the KDDP, I felt it was most important to connect Hooters back with the Kulwicki name, so I approached Hooters about working together, as a sponsor and supporter of some charity events we would do throughout the season.
The first event we worked on together was a fund raising 50/50 draw with all proceeds going to Make a Wish Canada. We had some Hooters girls on hand at Sunset Speedway in May to help sell tickets and interact with the fans, along with giving out some great Hooters Prize Packages. This was a huge success, the girls were a great addition to the fundraising event and we raised a lot of money for Make a Wish.
The second part of raising money for Make a Wish was done through our own personal fundraising, through the powers of social media, as well as our own personal persuasion, we raised additional funds and rappelled down Toronto City Hall, 30 stories high. We raised over $4500 for Make a Wish Canada.
Our second fundraising event with Hooters, was an appearance at the local Hooters store in Barrie, Ontario, to bring awareness to the Project Shoebox campaign, which took place on July 1, 2019, and it is the next project we are working on. Project Shoebox involves raising money or collecting donations, to fill shoe boxes with things that women would need if they had to leave a violent home situation. When they go into shelters, they may not have much, or little money, so items are bought/donated to make shoebox gifts for these women in need. The boxes are filled with necessities they may need, that we all take for granted, such as shampoo, cream, mittens, gift cards, make up, etc. These box gifts are to help them with some necessities that they need, as well letting them know that there are others that support their decisions and to make them feel better about their situation. We have a fundraising event planned to gather donations for these boxes through social media as well as at our local track. We will also be attempting to further our reach with a donations box at Hooters.
The father of one of the announcers at Sunset Speedway fell ill in the spring. He has a disease called Neuromyelitis Optica. This is a rare auto immune disorder of the central nervous system. Mr. Lankin is self employed and this disease has left him unable to walk and unable to work. They had to close down his business and he is without income. I decided to have shirts made up for the race team, with all proceeds going to Mr. Lankin to help him through his time of need. I am selling the shirts online and at the local race tracks around Ontario. To date, we have raised $1500 with the T-shirt sales and expect this to rise as the season goes on and we visit more tracks.
On July 12, 2019, we attended a charity golf tournament for the Bryan Bickell Foundation at Black Diamond golf course. Bryan Bickell is a retired NHL hockey player, born in 1986, he played for the Chicago Blackhawks for 10 years, winning the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2016-2017 season, but was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and retired from the NHL. His foundation was born from the ban that Chicago was looking to put on Pit Bulls while he was playing hockey there. They raise funds, but most importantly, awareness that this breed isn’t the danger that they are made out to be. We did an appearance for them, and one of my race sponsors, sponsored a hole at the tournament.
In conjunction with this, Bryan came to Sunset Speedway with me Monday to do a video together to bring awareness to MS. We took him out on the track and had a lot of fun making the video. This video will be up on social media soon and shared through Bryan’s (as well as my own) social media channels and we are hoping for some great benefits from this video program.
We have one more event planned at this time, to raise more funds for Make a Wish Canada, and we are attempting to do one final project toward the end of the race season, but the event in still in the planning stage and we do not have it finalized as of yet.
We're ready to get back on track at Jukasa Motor Speedway, Thursday July 25 with our special visitor, TR.