Two of IMSA’s leading teams were on hand at the annual Children’s Tumor Foundation Benefit Gala in New York City, held on Thursday, October 30th. Drivers from Park Place Motorsports and Compass360 Racing (C360R) were honored by being the recipients of the CTF Children’s Humanitarian Award, for their support of the Foundation’s Racing4Research program.
Team cars were displayed in front of the Plaza Hotel, just off Central Park, and proved to be a hit with both Gala attendees and passers-by alike. Park Place’s No. 73 TUDOR United SportCar Championship GTD-class Vess Energy Porsche 911 GT America was joined by C360R’s No. 75 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Honda Civic Si.
Both cars feature livery inspired by a signature piece of artwork donated to the CTF by highly-acclaimed artist and NF Hero Jeffrey Owen Hanson. The 20-year-old philanthropic artist is visually impaired from an optic nerve tumor related to neurofibromatosis – known simply as NF – that is a common yet under-recognized genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. NF affects one in every 3,000 people, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined. Hanson has developed an unmistakable signature style. Inspired by travel, his heavily textured artwork hangs in the homes of art collectors the world over, including Sir Elton John, Warren Buffett, and Susan Sarandon. The original artwork was auctioned off during the Gala with the proceeds going to fund NF research.
FOX Sports broadcaster Brian Till emceed the evening, and gave Park Place drivers Patrick Lindsey and Mike Vess, and Compass360’s Karl Thomson the opportunity to express their thanks for their teams’ award.
“Like the fight against NF, car racing is truly a team effort, and although I have the privilege of standing up here this evening, it’s due to the efforts of our incredible, tireless crew and our exceptionally talented drivers,” said Thomson. “We began our journey with CTF back in 2010 and since that time, our race team has grown and so has our involvement with the Foundation. We’ve celebrated wins and championships together along the way, and we’ve been inspired by the kids and their families that Jill Beck brings out to our race events. I can’t overstate how much this connection with the kids means to us as drivers.”
The Children’s Tumor Foundation actively supports research into treatments and a cure for NF by bringing academics, scientists, clinicians, and companies together to work in collaboration towards an end to neurofibromatosis. In addition to benefiting those who live with NF, CTF-funded research is shedding new light on several forms of cancer, brain tumors, bone abnormalities, and learning disabilities, ultimately benefiting the broader community. Donations to the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Racing4Research program can be made at http://Racing4Research.org.