The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) will host the 14th annual Racing to Recovery Gala Wednesday, May 22, at The Crane Bay in downtown Indianapolis. The Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m.
During the event, SSPF founder Sam Schmidt will present the 2013 Legends of Racing Award to Al Speyer, executive director of Firestone Racing. The Foundation's Visionary Award will also be presented to both Indiana University Health and Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine.
The Gala, one of the most anticipated events in the days leading up to the Indianapolis 500, will feature appearances by some of the biggest names in auto racing. Festive cocktails, gourmet food stations and a silent and live auction are among the highlights of the evening.
In advance of the live auction, an online auction has been created to sell unique items such as a collection of coins signed and carried by 32 drivers from the 2005 Indianapolis 500. Coins signed and carried by Danica Patrick, Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves and the late Dan Wheldon are included. The 2005 race was Wheldon's first Indianapolis 500 victory. The coins and other items can be found at www.racing2recoveryauction.com <http://www.racing2recoveryauction.com> .
The Racing to Recovery Gala and auction raises funds to support medical research to find a cure for paralysis. Last year's event raised nearly $300,000 for spinal cord injury (SCI) research.
“It is a fun night and a great cause,” says Ida Cahill, President and CEO of SSPF. “This year's event promises to be the best ever with a new venue and some exciting announcements from the Foundation.”
Reservations and sponsorship information can be obtained by calling 317-236-999 or sending an email to email@example.com.
About Al Speyer, 2013 Legends of Racing recipient
A seasoned veteran of the motorsports industry, Al began his career with the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company after graduating from Syracuse University in 1974 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Al balanced weekday work with his weekend racing activities, competing in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) competitions. In 1984, he was promoted from senior project engineer in the technical testing area to manager of race tire development. In 1992, he was named manager of motorsports for the company. The following year the company announced it would end a 20-year hiatus from the top forms of open-wheel racing, and Al was tapped to manage the return to competition that began in 1995.
Speyer was promoted to Director of Motorsports and, in 2001, was named Executive Director of Motorsports for Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (now Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC—BATO). He directs the company's open-wheel racing programs, the company's motorcycle and karting activities and manages all aspects of the company's motorsports activities, including marketing and promotional activities.
Speyer currently serves on the board of directors for the National Guard Youth Foundation and the Indy Family Foundation, Inc. He is chairman of the board oftrustees for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America; Past-President of the CART Sponsors Council and is a member of the Honorary Committee for Racing for Kidsto the Hill. He has been a recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the Road Racing Drivers Club Class of 2010, the Sam Schmidt Paralysis FoundationPartner for a Cure Award, the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association “Straight Shooter” Award, the PPG Colorful Character Award, the Fred Rhue Meritorious Service Award, and the CARA Charities Betty Rutherford Award. Al and his wife, Jane, reside in Hendersonville, Tenn., and they have one son, Erik.
About Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine
Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine is the merger of two highly respected institutions: Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group (ING) and the Indiana University Department of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Julius Goodman served as a co-founder of ING. His colleague and contemporary, Dr. Robert Campbell, served the IU School of Medicine for 32 years and continues as the Barton Professor Emeritus of Neurological Surgery there. Together, these two men mentored and inspired generations of neurosurgeons and saved and improved countless lives by their own hands and by paving the way for groundbreaking techniques across the globe.
The surgeons at Goodman Campbell Brian and Spine were instrumental in the formation of the sophisticated Emergency Medicine Department and Level One Trauma Center at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, which not only serves all of Indiana via the Lifeline Helicopter, but also has the second largest training program in the country. The practice has been involved in the training programs of Indiana University and all other Indianapolis hospitals, as well as the fellow, neurosurgery resident, other resident, intern and medical student levels.
Goodman Campbell is also a national leader in continuing education for neurosurgeons. Surgeons here have been selected to provide the neurosurgical consultation of the National Football League, including the Indianapolis Colts, as well as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Racing League and many college and high school sports teams throughout Indiana.
About Indiana University Health
Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 15 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation's leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.
About Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation
SSPF is leading the charge to cure paralysis by funding scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technological advances benefiting those with spinal cord injuries, stroke victims and people diagnosed with ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In addition to initiating local and national advocacy efforts on behalf of those disabled, SSPF also funds national "Days at the Races" and "Run, Walk ‘N Wheelathon" programs. Ida Cahill is President and CEO of the Foundation. For more information, visit www.samschmidt.org <http://www.samschmidt.org> .