Who better to make sure that lunch for a group of eager preschoolers was delivered safely than a pair of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers?
That’s just what happened today when youngsters at Pride Academy in Speedway had their lunches delivered and served by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing drivers Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot. It was part of the Feeding Our Communities Greater Indiana Pasta Drive partnership with Second Helpings, a food rescue organization in Marion County, Ind., and Fifth Third Bank.
Rahal and Pigot picked up the food at Second Helpings, drove it to Pride Academy and then donned aprons and hair nets before serving the approximately 50 youngsters a well-balanced meal of chicken, pasta and meatballs, fruit and bread.
All the while, the teammates and Fifth Third executives who also helped serve chatted with the kids about racing and what food they liked best before handing out miniature race cars, sunglasses and bracelets to the excited audience.
“It’s a big part of what we do, with Fifth Third Bank and Second Helpings having us come out and serve,” said Rahal, whose team enjoys an associate sponsorship with the bank. “You’ve got to give back to the community in anything you do.
“My mom and dad over the years back in Columbus (Ohio) did this a lot. For us, it’s fun to be out here doing it with Spencer, kind of getting his feet wet with the month of May. It’s big to particularly come and serve kids that are in Speedway. We do our thing about a mile down the road, so it’s pretty unique.”
Pigot, the rookie who debuted with RLLR at St. Petersburg in March, is taking in all the activities surrounding the hectic month of May.
“It’s been a lot of fun seeing all these kids and helping them get some lunch and seeing how happy they are to get toy race cars and to see us,” Pigot said. “It’s definitely been a good experience. It’s a great chance to give back to the community with Fifth Third and everyone involved.
“It’s totally new for me so I’m enjoying every bit of it.”
Rahal also saw the bigger picture in the event.
“Honestly, these are the future fans, too,” he said. “It’s important to give back to the community and also to spread the word about INDYCAR to these guys.
“They’re so appreciative of what you do. Most of us take for granted the daily life that we have and that there’s places where kids aren’t getting the food they need. To be able to come here and serve these kids and have fun with them and chat and see the smiles on their faces, see how grateful they are, it means a lot to us.”
Mann helps ring closing NASDAQ bell with sponsor
Verizon IndyCar Series driver Pippa Mann, entered to drive the No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in this year’s Indianapolis 500, helped new sponsor Genetic Technologies Limited (a molecular diagnostics company specializing in women’s health) ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City’s Times Square.
"The event has additional meaning to us,” said Eutillio Buccilli, CEO of Genetic Technologies, “as it ceremoniously marks, in earnest, the beginning of our partnership with Pippa Mann, a next-generation athlete who has demonstrated true conviction and commitment to promoting women’s health and in particular, breast cancer awareness.”
Mann will once again be promoting her 2016 Pink #GetInvolved campaign with her Indy 500 car, raising funds for Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer.