CARA, CHP To Assist Families

The California Highway Patrol and CARA Charities, one of motorsports’ leading charity organizations, will team up on Sunday, Oct. 16, at California Speedway to assist families with child passenger seats as part of the IRL IndyCar Series finale, the Toyota Indy 400.

The partnership of CHP’s “Child Passenger Safety" program and CARA’s “Bridgestone/Firestone Buckle Up Baby" charity campaign has produced a special event on the morning of the Toyota Indy 400 for inspection and delivery of children car seats.

The Oct. 16 CHP/CARA event will be open to all families (no purchase is necessary) as CHP officers volunteer their time to inspect that families’ child safety seats are properly installed and will assist in correcting any seats to its proper installation. In addition, the CHP will give families new child passenger seats at California Speedway and install them.

For those interested in seeing the Toyota Indy 400, tickets are on sale for $45 and children 12 and under are free or by calling 1-800-944-RACE or http://www.californiaspeedway.com.

Since 1993, CARA, with the help of the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund, has donated nearly $700,000 in child safety seats to needy families, hospitals, medical facilities and organizations within the communities of open-wheel events in North America.

CARA contributes $2,500 at each race to provide child safety seats to low-income families.

The CARA/CHP partnership also is in conjunction with the CARA’s charity event, Raceway Rendezvous, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14, at California Speedway. Tens of thousands of dollars have been raised through the annual CARA event. This year’s theme has a western theme and many of the top IndyCar drivers participate in the affair.

“We would like to thank CARA Charities for their contribution to our Children Passenger Safety Seat program," said Mike Brown, commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. “Many child and baby seats are not properly installed and that results in injuries. With the help of CARA, we can expand our program’s awareness as well as helping needy families with new car seats."

Supported by auto racing legends such as Rick Mears, Johnny Rutherford and Bobby Rahal as well as racing industry leaders like Tony George, Al Speyer and Les Unger to promote children safety, the “Buckle Up Baby" campaign was awarded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Buckle Up America Champion Award.

“Protecting many children while traveling with their families has been our goal thanks to the generous contributions from the Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund," said Barbara Butz, president of CARA Charities. “Many families simply cannot afford the lifesaving seats. Now, this new program with the California Highway Patrol continues our program to additional awareness. We want to thank Commissioner Brown and the CHP for this needed partnership to help families."

CARA Charities, founded in 1981 by Betty Rutherford and the women of open-wheel racing, has distributed over $3.7 million to numerous racing and community organizations.

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