This weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the No. 007 TRG-Aston Martin Racing Vantage V12 and No. 7 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche will be carrying B+ logos in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races, respectively.
Both will be co-driven by driver and B+ (Be Positive) foundation ambassador, Al Carter. Since 2011, the foundation has benefited from multiple racing programs orchestrated by Carter, a cancer survivor, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease at age 30.
Having won his battle, Carter knows more than anyone the need to raise awareness to fight childhood cancer, knowing that less than 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s federal budget is allocated to childhood cancer research.
The B+ Foundation is one of the leading organizations that fight childhood cancer nationwide. Thanks in part to the funding generated by special events and programs like its racing program, it has raised more than $1 million to families of children with cancer, with nearly the same amount going to support research efforts..
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see our ‘B+’ logo on the side of a racecar” said Joe McDonough co-founder and President of The B+ Foundation. “When my friend, B+ race car driver and cancer survivor, Al Carter, approached me four years ago about fighting childhood cancer through racing, I had no idea the impact it would have.
“We’ve enjoyed the highs and lows on the race track in the Continental Tire series over the past three seasons, but it’s what has happened off the track that is most impressive to me. Having The B+ Foundation involved in racing is not only so cool, but it’s opening so many doors.
“I never know when someone at the track might come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I want to help you fight childhood cancer.’ The racing community embraces our slogan ‘B+… it’s not a grade, it’s an attitude.”
In just thee years, Carter and Hugh Plumb helped raise more than $250,000 and the program will continue this year.
Even though they won’t be racing together, the two ambassadors will continue to support the foundation by making visits to children’s hospitals before each event, the first scheduled for Tuesday at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando.
“Before most races, we visit a local children’s hospital and Al and Hugh meet with the children fighting cancer,” McDonough said. “They’d sign autographs, leave gifts, and thanks to the various tracks, often we’d distribute free tickets to the upcoming race.
“To see the smiles on the children’s faces is just priceless. And, you can only imagine their expression when they learn that Al went through chemo also and now he’s racing a car upwards of 180 mph.”
The series and the teams in the paddock have been supportive of The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. Joe McDonough, his wife Chris and daughter Ali started the foundation when their 14-year-old son died following a brutal battle with leukemia.
The foundation also funds childhood cancer research and is now one of the largest grantors of financial assistance to families of kids with cancer nationwide.
“I’m especially pleased to report that in 2011, the Grand-Am drivers helped us raise $50,000 to fund a childhood cancer clinical trial at the University of Illinois-Chicago Hospital,” McDonough said. “The media, particularly the television race day crew, have also been so helpful in generating awareness for our Be Positive Foundation and the fight against childhood cancer.”
Rebel Rock Racing is also become an active player in the IMSA paddock this season,with B+ being one of two official Rebel Rock Racing charities.
Multiple fund raisers to benefit B+ will be organized in 2014, including a post-race CTSC celebration on Friday in Ormond Beach, Fla.