Road America Reflects on a Season Of Giving Back

Photo Credit Road America

Since the mid-1950’s Road America has valued working with many non-profit groups to assist in fundraising efforts. From the early days, many non-profit organizations such as the Plymouth Optimists, Elkhart Lake Lions, and St. John the Baptist have been mainstays at concession stands for years while providing mouth-watering food at a tremendous value.

 However, many are unaware that every season, Road America works with many philanthropic organizations to raise funds for everything from educational programs to groundbreaking disease research and treatments. Despite the 2020 season being unlike any other, and with the right plans, partners, and resources in place, Road America helped raise more than $400,000 for various charities and worthy causes during events, club days, track days, participant-based donations, and concession sales. 

“We are very grateful to all of our fans and sponsors, plus our partners, concession groups, and contributors who helped generate these amazing results,” said Road America’s President and General Manager Mike Kertscher. “Everyone’s generosity during these trying and unprecedented times has been tremendous. Hard work is gratifying when you know it’s to help raise money for a great cause.” 

Throughout the 2020 season, charitable initiatives included Road America’s Fire Fest 4th of July fireworks show, in partnership with the Plymouth Advancement Association, which raised money for the Sheboygan County Food Bank, Elkhart Lake Fire Department, and Plymouth Fire Department. The July 4th Fire Fest event was created to recognize Sheboygan County residents for their tenacity and spirit during the COVID-19 “Safer at Home” period, which ended in late May of this year. The event, coined as “One Community – One Purpose,” originated when it was apparent that July 4th events throughout Wisconsin and Sheboygan County were being canceled as there wasn’t a way to achieve social distancing at venues with limited space, which was not the case at Road America. 

The WeatherTech International Challenge Concours d’Elegance events in July raised funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sheboygan County and Fresh Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County. The Concours d’Elegance events celebrated the best cars appearing both on and off the track at Road America. Car enthusiasts joined in on this endeavor, channeling their passion for cars into raising money through parking fee donations and website donations for worthy charities.

 Road America also supported the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs (MCSCC) Spec Miata enduro ‘Race to Save the Children’ event as part of the IMSA Sportscar weekend. In all, 51 Miata’s made the grid for the 60-minute ‘Race to Save the Children’ enduro, and the majority took the checkered flag following a rainy start. The Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs accepted donations through participant registration, sold T-shirts and face masks, supporting COVID-19 relief. 

One of Road America’s most prominent charitable events, The 12 Hours of Road America event hosted by myTEAM Triumph, beat its fundraising goal in 2020. The myTEAM Triumph event supports athletes with disabilities and will use the funds to purchase adaptive equipment used in endurance events, such as racing wheelchairs, unique bicycles, and rafts. For those unaware, myTEAM TRIUMPH Wisconsin is working to build a more inclusive community for athletes with disabilities through energizing and community focused endurance athletics.

 The Lamers Driving Experience in September raised money in support of several charities, including FOCUS – Preventing Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth, Boys & Girls Clubs of Green Bay, Boys & Girls Clubs of Menasha, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley, myTEAM Triumph, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation, Vida, Harbor House, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Schriner’s Hospital for Children, Artists for the Humanities, YMCA of the Fox Cities. The Lamers Driving Experience raised funds by allowing event participants the rare opportunity to drive their car, at speed, on track at Road America. 

Road America also aligned efforts with Lemons of Love as part of DRIVE (formerly Drive for Babies), Road America’s Outdoor Movie Night in August, and the SCCA Runoffs in October. These three events raised money for Lemons of Love and further helped them continue their mission of sharing chemotherapy care packages with cancer patients. Anyone interested in learning more about Lemons of Love may visit https://give.classy.org/LemonLOVE 

The Junior Achievement Corporate Challenge event raised funds for more than 6,500 students in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Sheboygan County to participate in Junior Achievement economic education taught by local business volunteers. Local business professionals serve as classroom volunteers, and programs funded by area businesses, individuals, and foundations. 

or more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted a Walk-Run event at Road America in late October. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and considering that cancer patients – many with compromised immune systems – are some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19, the organization decided on a virtual event, which allowed everyone from cancer patients, survivors, and their caregivers, to participate safely. The American Cancer hopes to continue the event, in person, in 2021. Since 1981, the American Cancer Society annual Walk-Run event at Road America has raised over $3.5 million dollars.   

 Road America prides itself on giving back and encourages any interested organizations to contact the administration office at 800-365-7223 or through www.roadamerica.com/contact-us

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