The black tie gala takes place during race week and features an exciting live auction for a chance to enter the 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, as well as drivers and celebrity guests from the Izod IndyCar Racing Series and Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Grand Prix Foundation president, Rick DuRee explains, "Last year, Tony Hawk, Megyn Price, Patrick Warburton, Dario Franchitti and others joined the festivities, which made it fun for guests and contributed to raising more than $103,000 in funds for our Foundation's very deserving children's charities."
"The winning bid to drive in this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race was $67,000. We're expecting to bring in even more from some healthy competition brewing among several race enthusiasts for the 2012 Pro/Celebrity Race," says event co-chairman Tom Bussa. The live auction will feature:
- An entry on the starting line in the 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity race, including training and activities with racing professionals and celebrities
- Pace car ride
- Autographed helmet by Izod's IndyCar Series drivers featured in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
- Edmonton Grand Prix race package
- 2012 Charity Days package with entry into the Toyota Grand Prix Golf Tournament, Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball and three-day race attendance
- Randy Owens painting
More live auction items will be announced shortly.
The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. Ticket prices remain the same as last year at $150 per person or $1200 for a table of eight, and include a four-course formal sit-down dinner which begins at 7:30 p.m., dancing to local live band Squeeze Box, and access to exclusive silent and live auction items. Drivers from the IndyCar Series and Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be on-hand for photos and autographs. Additional celebrity guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
The gala has served as a cornerstone fundraising event for the Grand Prix Foundation, providing support to select community non-profit organizations. This year's Charity Ball beneficiaries include Memorial Miller Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Orange County, The Robert E. Leslie Scholarship Fund, and the Grand Prix Foundation Scholarship Fund among other Long Beach children's charities.
To order tickets or get more information about the Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball call: (562) 490-4509, visit Facebook [search: Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball], or follow us on Twitter @TGPCharityBall.