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DATE News (chronologically)
05/29/08
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Rahal Letterman Racing Partners With One Heartland
Rahal Letterman Racing prides itself not only in being a top-flight racing team with a championship pedigree, but also in doing everything it can for those in need.

From the many charities that have received aid through the Bobby Rahal Foundation, to the work done with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, whether it be hosting a Red Cross blood drive planned for June 12 or donations made to education concerns such as the Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI) museum, Rahal Letterman Racing has long been willing to do whatever possible to help the fortunes of others.

This spirit of assistance will again be on display at this weekend’s IndyCar Series race in Milwaukee as the #17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone IndyCar driven by 2008 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Ryan Hunter-Reay will carry the logo of One Heartland. The team will also donate $20 per lap completed in the race or $5,000, whichever is the greater amount, by the #17 car in Sunday’s race, which can be seen live at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC. In addition, the #17 car will carry an in-car camera during this weekend’s race, which will feature the One Heartland logo even more prominently. 

“We look forward to the opportunity to use our participation in the IndyCar Series to raise awareness of this very worthwhile cause,” said RLR co-owner Bobby Rahal. “One Heartland has been a shining light in what can be a dark world in the lives of children that have contracted HIV/AIDS and we at Rahal Letterman Racing are pleased to use whatever methods we can to help the cause.”

One Heartland is a non-profit organization dedicated to greatly improving the lives of children, youth and their families facing HIV/AIDS and other significant life challenges worldwide. The idea blossomed in 1991 when Neil Willenson discovered the story of a young boy with AIDS that was encountering opposition to his enrolling in kindergarten. The relationship grew to include many others and culminated with the opening of what was then known as Camp Heartland in 1997. Now known as One Heartland, the camp is permanently based in Willow River, Minnesota and has hosted more than 6,000 campers.

“One Heartland has been privileged to have an incredible association with Rahal Letterman Racing and with Bobby and Johanna Rahal personally. From volunteering at our camp sessions for children with HIV/AIDS to contributing financially, the Rahals and their entire organization have helped transform the lives of thousands of children in need,” said Willenson. “At the Milwaukee Mile, not only will the children of One Heartland be cheering for Ryan Hunter-Reay because he is a talented driver, but also because his success during the event could raise thousands of dollars to make their lives better.

“Even today, life can be very challenging for children who experience HIV/AIDS, poverty, and grief,” Willenson continued. “Fortunately, One Heartland receives the generous support of the Rahal’s and all of our friends at Rahal Letterman Racing.  Their kindness provides hope, joy, and acceptance to thousands of children who greatly deserve better lives. I know thousands of racing fans will join us as we cheer #17 Ryan Hunter-Reay on to victory.”

You can learn more about the mission of One Heartland on the World Wide Web by visiting www.oneheartland.org. In addition, One Heartland Founder and CEO Neil Willenson will be at this weekend’s race and available for comment.  Willenson can be reached at 414-350-4083. RLR PR
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