The Grand Prix of Houston, Oct. 4-6 at Reliant Park, revved up MD Anderson’s mission to eradicate cancer by generating more than $160,000 for cancer research and patient care initiatives.
MD Anderson was 2013 event sponsor of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers. The institution also was primary beneficiary of action-packed opportunities created by Grand Prix Charities of Houston, a 501c3 organization, enabling spectators to have fun while helping speed the search for a cure.
In addition, 2012 IndyCar Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay presented $100,000 to the MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital’s ON to Life pediatric nutrition research program through Racing for Cancer, a nonprofit organization he co-founded with Tom Vossman. Hunter-Reay presented the donation at the Oct. 3 Yellow Party, the official Grand Prix of Houston kickoff event.
Flags Over MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway generated sales of more than 100 commemorative, personalized flags that lined the 1.7-mile course. Flags purchased at the $1,000 level were autographed by champions of the weekend’s two IndyCar races.
Sponsors of a celebrity go-kart race, on an indoor track sponsored by MSR Houston, also helped accelerate the fight against cancer. With Craig Roberts of News 92 FM as master of ceremonies, go-kart teams consisting of a designated celebrity and a sponsor representative entertained hundreds gathered for the fast-paced fun. Celebrity participants included former Astros manager Phil Garner, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher C.J. Wilson, former Astros pitcher Brandon Backe, KTRK anchor Ilona Carson, KPRC meteorologist Kambrel Marshall, musician Lyle Lovett, Sports 790’s Doug Pike and Charlie Palillo, NASCAR champion Brad Coleman, pro golfer Fuzzy Zoeller and Hunter-Reay’s wife, Beccy Hunter-Reay — who outdrove her competition to win the champion trophy. Team sponsors included Kirby Black, Cisco, Energy Quest II, ERG Resources, Russell Gordy, Jason’s Deli, IBM, Love Advertising, Racing for Cancer and Joe Rubbo.
The flag sales and celebrity go-kart race netted $60,000 for MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program offering go-kart rides for spectators and donating a portion of ticket sales totaling more than $1,800.
Plans are underway for the Grand Prix of Houston 2014, June 27-29 at Reliant Park.