Q&A with Don Schumacher Racing
November 10, 2015
Every time a family walks through the doors of Riley Hospital for Children, they benefit from the generosity of people in our community. Friends and partners of Riley Children’s Foundation make it possible for every child to receive exceptional care in Indiana’s only comprehensive pediatric research hospital.
One of those community partners that proudly stands behind Riley is Don Schumacher Racing. Today, we introduce you to DSR’s Senior Vice President, Mike Lewis.
Q: How did you first become involved with supporting Riley?
A: I moved to Indy in 1995 as VP/General Manager of Lucas Oil Raceway (then Indianapolis Raceway Park). We contacted Riley Hospital for Children in 1996 to arrange for Riley patients to ride along with USAC drivers in two-seat go-karts at Great Times Fun Park. Drivers included Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Mike Bliss and the late Kenny Irwin. Ten years later, as Senior VP of Don Schumacher Racing, we immediately chose Riley Hospital for Children as beneficiary of the first DSR Open House. DSR added a second event, “Bowling for Riley Kids,” five years ago. The DSR team has become close to many Riley families over the years. Don Schumacher, sponsor Terry Chandler and a DSR team headed by GM Will Truitt now support Riley with the two charity events and a branded Riley Funny Car at the NHRA U.S. Nationals. We are proud that DSR events have raised over $350,000 in the past ten years.
Q: Has anyone close to you been treated at Riley? How was that experience?
A: My grandson Gavin, now 6, was treated for asthma at Riley for several years and is now mostly symptom-free and able to play football, basketball and baseball.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a Riley donor/supporter?
A: We recently hosted the 10th Annual DSR Open House and a group of “alumni” Riley families. Seeing Riley Kids become healthy teenagers and young adults was the most heartwarming part of the 2015 event. Knowing that Riley care gave these kids and their families inspiration for healthy futures was all the reward we needed for our token efforts.
Q: What would you like others in the community to know about the importance of standing behind Riley Hospital?
A: The racing community stands behind Riley families today just as in my first experience in 1996. DSR hosts hundreds of Car Show participants and many NHRA racers from across the country who support the Riley mission along with DSR. We’ve seen the Riley facilities and watched the Riley staff provide comfort, care and hope to Riley patients and families from all walks of life.
For more information on the DSR “Bowling for Riley Kids” event on December 9, 2015, click here.
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