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Graham Rahal didn't know what he was starting when he offered to auction the race-used helmet, gloves and shoes he used in Las Vegas to raise money for the family of the late Dan Wheldon. Rahal's gesture began an outpouring of support from celebrities and athletes around the world who wanted to donate memorabilia to raise money for the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund.
"I certainly appreciate everyone's support for Dan's Memorial Auction," said Rahal, who recently completed his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing. "I never thought when I tweeted about auctioning my helmet that we would get this kind of reaction."
Among the items already offered up for auction are:
· Graham Rahal's Las Vegas-worn helmet, gloves and shoes
· Original Bobby Rahal race-worn helmet
· Race worn items from IndyCar drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Simona De Silvestro, Oriol Servia, James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball; NASCAR drivers such as Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Max Papis; Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and NHRA stars Brandon Bernstein, Cory McLenathan, Antron Brown and Ron Capps.
· #77 Dan Wheldon Indianapolis Colts jersey signed by Colts players
· Signed Indiana Pacers jerseys from Larry Bird and Clark Kellogg
· Ritmo Mundo IndyCar rose gold timepieces.
· Memorabilia from Tour de France winning cyclist Lance Armstrong, MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, NBA star Dwight Howard, tennis legend Billie Jean King, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett and professional surfer Kelly Slater
· VIP Package for any of the Barrett Jackson Auctions, tires from Service Central and all of their partners
· IndyCar Experience Two-Seater ride around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
· Two-seat Grand-Am Daytona Prototype ride from Mike Shank Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
· NFL helmet signed by Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Deion Saunders.
· New York Giants helmet signed by Eli Manning
· NFL jersey signed by Roger Staubach, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Warren Moon, and Harry Carson.
· Limited-edition Colt handgun with serial number "98INDY500" and two custom Colt Indianapolis 500 rifles.
Auctions for donated items will begin on Monday, Oct. 24 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund.
The auction will be run by online auction site eBay, which has waived all fees, and Auction Cause, a Los Angeles-based auction management agency specializing in high profile corporate, celebrity, and nonprofit eBay auction events.
A link to the auction site will available through www.DanWheldonMemorial.com
, the memorial website set up by GoDaddy.com, which includes a Facebook link to leave condolences and remembrances, a career photo retrospective and details on how fans can donate to either the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund or the Alzheimer's Association, a cause that was dear to Dan Wheldon.