Graham Rahal has a lofty goal for an online auction to raise money for Justin Wilson’s family – bring in $1 million to the Wilson Children’s Fund. While the eBay auction doesn’t launch until Sept. 14, there’s reason to believe that the goal can be met.
And though the nearly $25,000 that Hunter-Reay’s helmet brought to the fund won’t count towards Rahal’s million-dollar goal, the hope is that the sale of other race-used helmets from Verizon IndyCar Series drivers could bring as much, if not more, money to the cause. Wilson died Aug. 24 from a head injury sustained in a race the day before.
"We've received incredible support from the entire IndyCar Series, and drivers and teams from throughout the world, and we'll start the auction off with all of our helmets from Sonoma, which includes the helmet Scott Dixon wore to win the championship," Rahal told RACER.com earlier this month.
As Rahal did following the death of fellow Verizon IndyCar Series driver Dan Wheldon in 2011, he has partnered with eBay and large online auction facilitators Auction Cause to conduct the online auction of all memorabilia with proceeds going directly to the Wilson Children’s Fund.
But the items for auction won’t be limited to the drivers who competed against Wilson in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Items signed by legends such as Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt were donated and teams and drivers throughout the racing world have pledged items as well. An one-of-a-kind original painting of Wilson's car by artist Bill Patterson (shown at the bottom of story) will also be made available.
"There will be items up for auction you simply cannot buy or get access to anywhere else,” Rahal said. “We have Formula One world champions and race winners who've reached out and committed incredible items for the auction. We have the biggest names in NASCAR who are donating personal items. We've had the same from drivers and teams in IMSA, the WEC, the NHRA, the V8 Supercars in Australia, and so many others who want to contribute really amazing items so fans can bid and help Justin's family."
Through eBay's direct involvement, all transaction fees will be waived and all proceeds will be deposited straight into the Wilson Children's Fund, which benefits Wilson’s wife Julia and daughters Jane and Jessica.
"I hope we can maximize the dollars and raise as much money for them as possible," Rahal said. “We need to take care of Julia, Jess and Jane. And I hope people are ready to help them and take home incredible stuff through the auction."
Those wishing to contribute to the fund established electronically can do so HERE or via mail to:
Wilson Children’s Fund
c/o Forum Credit Union
PO Box 50738
Indianapolis, IN 46250-0738
Artist Bill Patterson creating race art of Justin Wilson live at the #indycar champions celebration here in downtown SF. #GoProGP #racesonoma #art
A photo posted by Sonoma Raceway (@racesonoma) on