This article was originally published on MTAF Wheels, which is now dark. Thank you for enjoying it here, through the Live Full Throttle Archives.
SPEEDWAY, IN – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is world renowned for hosting the best racing in motorsports. But, they do so much more than house the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. On the same note, IndyCar and the multiple teams & drivers that compose it, do just as much off track for their communities as they do on track for their fans… maybe even more. Teams & drivers are actively involved in fundraising and charity organizations. Some of them, like Indy 500 Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, form their own, creating campaigns and benefit parties to fund-raise and draw attention to causes close to their heart. For Ryan, it’s Racing for Cancer and doing all he can to fund cancer research in honor of his late mother.
Yesterday, IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway aligned with another cause that hits home for far too many around the world and right here in Indiana. Domestic violence has reached the headlines in the sports community more times than I would care to recall over the past year. From the NFL to NASCAR, the note-worthy storylines presented by the media have created an outlet for discussion, and that may be the one positive we can pull from all of it – because the more we talk about domestic violence and specifically the more we speak out against it, the more opportunities we create for individuals suffering in silence to come forward in a safe manner and end the cycle of abuse.
Dottie Davis, a retired police executive and survivor of domestic violence, is one such individual. (She is pictured above with Helio Castroneves) She shared her story with media yesterday, at a press conference announcing the HOPELINE from Verizon initiative. HOPELINE is a national drive that raises funds and awareness for domestic violence, as well as collecting no-longer-used wireless phones. I was unable to attend the press conference in person but I was told that Dottie’s story was very powerful. She is a true inspiration, taking a very negative and dangerous situation which she experienced, seeking support, and now providing support and encouragement to those still in similar situations. She embodies what it means to be a hero.
“Domestic violence impacts our families and friends, our workplaces, and our communities. I’m encouraging racing fans to clean our their drawers and donate their old phones and accessories. Together, we can make sure we’re doing out part in preventing domestic violence.” – Helio Castroneves, Team Penske driver & three-time Indy 500 Champion
You heard him, race fans! Help out with the HOPELINE drive during the #MonthofMay at IMS! It’s very simple: before you head to the Speedway this month, check your dresser drawers, the storage closet, your office desk, and find those wireless devices and accessories that you no longer use. Bring those items to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and place them in a donation box. HOPELINE volunteers and donation boxes are located at Gate 1 (16th & Georgetown), Gate 3 (outside Turn 2 by tunnel 3 entrance), Gate 9 (outside Northwest Vista grandstands), and Gate 10-A (Hulman Blvd. outside the North Vista tunnel).
The Indiana drive is part of a national goal to collect 1 million phone donations this year. If you want to help but are unable to make it to the Speedway this month, you can still donate at other locations throughout the state and at Verizon Wireless retail stores. Click here for a list of sites. Please note: Your donated devices can be from ANY wireless carrier, they do not have to be Verizon Wireless items.
Every May we are lucky enough to witness the Indianapolois 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the victors of that “Sunday drive”, their lives are forever changed. Now it’s your turn to be part of a different kind of life-changing drive at the Yard of Bricks… by donating to HOPELINE.