Driving Down Dementia
~ by Daniel Demaras ~
Last week I was honored to have an article published by the Baycrest Foundation about my fundraising effort, my toughest challenge of 2019.
It was a busy racing season. I raced in multiple series; from club races in TRAK and MIKA, to bigger events like the Inter Club Challenge and Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship all the way to the K1 Speed e-World Championships in California. But my greatest challenge was partnering with Racing to End Alzheimer’s to help raise awareness and funds for the Baycrest Foundation. My goal was to show that one person could make a difference.
It started at the IMSA race when I met up with my old karting coach James Vance, who co-pilots the No. 23 R2ENDALZ Audi. I joined the team, with a goal of raising $1,500 for Alzheimer’s research. A few weeks later, I held a fundraiser at Nostalgia Coffee Company in Toronto.
With the support of my personal sponsor, Nostalgia, I was halfway to my fundraising goal. But the second fundraiser would be a team effort. With prizes donated by Goodwood Kartways and Scarboro Subaru, the fundraiser at K1 Speed Toronto put us over the top.
My karting team, Professional Racing Ontario, helped support my endeavor by running special R2ENDALZ livery on all the karts in the final race of the season. Having my teammates behind me meant so much.
When the racing season ended, I visited the Baycrest Hospital to present them with a cheque for over $4,000; the total of all the donations I’d collected, plus the matching funds from R2ENDALZ’s corporate benefactors. Michelle, the Communications Advisor at Baycrest, showed me around the facility, and I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of the work they do. I never felt to small in my life.
Baycrest has a 100 year history in Toronto, and is a global leader in Alzheimer’s and brain research. Seeing the sheer size of the campus made my donation seem like a drop in the bucket. But it’s not just about money. My fundraiser helped get the message out to many in Toronto about the need to fund research.
I got to smile for the camera and get my picture taken with Craig Sharma, a Director at Baycrest and part of their Leadership Team, but the real credit goes to the individuals who donated to the fundraiser, and the businesses who supported the idea including R2ENDALZ, Nostalgia Coffee Company, K1 Speed, Scarboro Subaru, High Definition Installations and In Home Service.
I wanted to take the time to say thank you to everyone in the karting who helped and donated to the fundraisers this year. My goal was to show that one person could make a difference…but the lesson I learned is that by working together as a team, we can all achieve great things together.