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Honda Indy Toronto raises nearly $90,000 for Make-A-Wish

Norris McDonald
Written by Norris McDonald

Nine years of fan and partner generosity exceeds $690,000

While the debate continues about attendance at last weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto – estimates have ranged from a low of 10,000 to a high of 50,000 (organizers, as is the case with NASCAR and IndyCar, don’t release attendance figures) – there is one figure that is public and exact – the amount of money raised on Fan Friday for Make-A-Wish Canada.

A Honda Indy media release says that thanks to the incredible generosity of race fans, the Ontario Honda Dealers Association (OHDA) and the Honda Canada Foundation (HCF), nearly $90,000 was raised for Make-A-Wish Canada during the Honda Indy Toronto race weekend.

This marked the ninth consecutive year of Make-A-Wish fundraising efforts at the race, which has generated a total of more than $690,000 for the organization dedicated to granting wishes for children with critical illnesses.

All contributions from race fans over the weekend were matched dollar-for-dollar by the Honda Canada Foundation, Honda Canada’s national charitable arm.

“This is a true reflection of how big people’s hearts are and I know that everyone at Make-A-Wish shares in my excitement and sincere gratitude to Indy fans, the Honda Canada Foundation and Ontario Honda dealers,” said Jennifer Klotz-Ritter, president & CEO, Make-A-Wish Canada.

“Programs like this play an instrumental role in our ability to bring strength and happiness to the lives of children with critical illnesses.”

Race fans of all ages were once again treated to the speed and spectacle of the race and the fun of the surrounding festival on Fan Friday (see photo taken on Thunder Alley, above).

Instead of admission, attendees were encouraged to make a contribution to Make-A-Wish upon entry into the race. Donations were also accepted throughout race weekend for a variety of games and activities including face painting, racing simulators, James Hinchcliffe suit signing and Honda Junior Red Riders off-road riding program.

Formed in 2005, the Honda Canada Foundation (HCF) aims to enable the realization of dreams through various annual philanthropic activities and funding to non-profit registered charities across Canada where Honda customers and associates live, work and play.

The HCF focuses on four key pillars – family, environment, engineering and education – and each year more than $1.5 million is disbursed to groups in need.  More than 5.5 million Canadians have benefited from Honda Canada- and Honda Canada Foundation-funded charitable programs. For more information, please visit www.hondacanadafoundation.ca.

Meantime, Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The organization seeks to bring every eligible child’s wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in Canada, and in more than 50 countries worldwide.