TORONTO, ON (June 15, 2015) – Thanks to the generosity of Toronto race fans, support from the Ontario Honda Dealers Association (OHDA) and Honda Canada Inc., more than $73,000 was raised for Make-A-Wish® Canada during a race weekend filled with fun both on and off the track. This marks the sixth straight year of Make-A-Wish® fundraising efforts at the Honda Indy Toronto, which has generated a total of $443,000 to date.
“On behalf of everyone at Make-A-Wish, I’d like to express our sincere thanks to Honda Canada, its dealers and, of course, the fans,” said Jennifer Klotz-Ritter, president &and CEO, Make-A-Wish Canada. “This level of commitment and support is a huge part of how we can continue to grant wishes and bring happiness and strength to the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
James Hinchcliffe, the only Canadian driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, attended his hometown race in Toronto despite his recent injuries. As a Honda ambassador and partner, James made a special appearance on Fan Friday to meet with a large group of Make-A-Wish children and their families, taking time to sign autographs and pose for photos with the smiling children.
Six years of Fan Friday, donate year-round
Race fans of all ages were once again treated to the speed and thrill of the Honda Indy Toronto for free during the sixth annual Fan Friday. Rather than pay admission, attendees were encouraged to make a contribution to Make-A-Wish. Donations were also accepted for games and activities including hockey slap shot zone, face painting, racing simulators and a ‘Get Well’ card for Hinchcliffe. All contributions over the weekend were matched dollar-for-dollar by Honda Canada.
“Fan Friday has grown every year and we’re very proud to have a role in its evolution,” said Kevin Pearson, president, Ontario Honda Dealers Association. “Perhaps the best part of this event is that it’s not just for race fans. There truly is something for everyone and it all happens in support of Make-A-Wish.”
The races may be over, but there are always opportunities to donate to Make-A-Wish. To make a five dollar donation, text the word ‘DREAM’ to 41010 from any mobile phone. With support from organizations like Honda Canada and the OHDA, Make-A-Wish grants more than 500 wishes a year through eight regional chapters across the country.
“Activities like this are very much a part of who Honda is as a company,” said Dave Gardner, senior vice president of operations, Honda Canada Inc. “We’re happy to support our Ontario Honda Dealers and it’s great to see so many fans join us every year to help grant the wishes of kids across the country.”
About the Ontario Honda Dealers Association
The Ontario Honda Dealers Association, which was founded in 1989, represents 78 Honda dealers located in 62 communities throughout Ontario, which is home to the two Honda of Canada Mfg. assembly plants that produce Civic, Canada's best-selling passenger car for 17 consecutive years, in addition to the CR-V. The 78 Honda dealerships in Ontario, which have a proven track record for providing maximum customer satisfaction, employ approximately 3,000 associates.
About Make-A-Wish® Canada
Make-A-Wish Canada is a dynamic wish-granting organization that brings hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Along with the national office, eight regional chapters grant magical wishes to children in need from coast to coast. Make-A-Wish Canada is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International. Make-A-Wish® is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 350,000 children since 1980. For more information, please visit www.makeawish.ca.
About the Honda Indy Toronto
The Honda Indy Toronto, Ontario's largest annual sporting event, takes place June 12 - 14 on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. In addition to world-class racing, the event features festival attractions, including craft beer, food trucks, adrenaline filled shows, interactive games and activities, live entertainment, charity events and celebrity appearances. For more information, visit HondaIndy.com. Follow the Honda Indy Toronto on Twitter @HondaIndy and ‘Like’ us on Facebook at facebook.com/HondaIndyToronto.