Christopher Proietto is a good guy. After years of successful racing, he transitioned to become a mechanic under the PRO tent. Daniel Demaras was fortunate enough to spend nearly two seasons under Christopher’s guidance.
Word has spread about the urgent need for PPE donations, and now the Proiettos have also joined the fight against the virus. The Caledon, ON, based family are working directly with local hospitals to create emergency face shields using 3D printing technology.
The PRO teammate has taken it one step further by setting up a GoFundMe page with a goal of collecting $5,000 in donations for the production of PPE for the Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangville, ON.
Production of the pro-shield has continued all week. With limited time and resources, the PRO guys have done an incredible job making something out of nothing but a few kilos of PLA. The raw material has yielded multiple finished products, and with the 3D printer running all weekend, the first batch of emergency face shields will be delivered to Michael Garron Hospital on Easter Monday.
Daniel, Darryl and Curtis from Professional Racing Ontario were never going to fill the shortage themselves. The goal of the campaign was to challenge the racing community to join the fight against the virus. Many race shops have 3D printers, and if the message could get out to enough people, others would do their part.
The response on social media has been incredible, with thousands of people reached, and most importantly, the story being shared over 100 times. That kind of networking will quickly spread the word!
About a week ago, I received this a letter about someone who’d read about my donation to the local hospital.
I saw that you donated your racing sponsorship money to your local hospital. I have many clients who are doctors on the front line and they are BEGGING anyone who will listen for supplies. What you did was selfless, honourable and showed a lot of character. It takes a big man to make a decision like that. I am sending you cash to add to your racing fund. It is a fraction of what is necessary when it comes to how expensive your racing career costs – but I wanted to send something to show you I respect what you did.
This isn’t a family member, or someone I know well enough to call at Christmas. But his letter really meant something to me. Thank you, Dan.
PRO team owners Darryl Timmers and Curtis Fox have always been very encouraging of Daniel Demaras and Chris Demaras. Whether it’s teaching Daniel about trail braking, or explaining ‘righty-tighty, lefty-loosey’ to Chris (again) the PRO guys are beyond supportive. This time, they’ve helped the Demaras family spread word of the urgent need for PPE donations through the power of social media.
Many concerned citizens in Canada have done their best to help meet the needs of PPE for health care workers.
But news today about millions of medical masks from 3M being blocked at the US-Canada border only underscores the point; we need a Canadian solution to the problem!
In response to an urgent plea from hospitals in the GTA for personal protective equipment (PPE), Professional Racing Ontario and their driver Daniel Demaras are helping to fill the void by using 3D Printing to make protective face shields.
Local hospitals are calling on the community to help create PPE to protect health care professionals. There is a critical shortage of PPE supplies, and while large manufacturers are ramping up production to meet demand, the community can bridge the gap between now and then.
“While we’re all pacing and preparing for the racing season, we’ve put our machinery to work for something different this time. Demaras contacted us for help on the project because PRO has the ability to create these face shields through our engineering background and in-house 3D printing technology. Now we’re challenging others in the racing community to step up and join the fight.”
Darryl Timmers Professional Racing Ontario
PRO expects to have the first batch of emergency face shields ready mid-week for Daniel Demaras to deliver to Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital). That’s the same hospital Demaras visited last week to donate PPE supplies to, paid for by sponsor money earmarked for his 2020 racing season.
“I shared the story about my PPE donation to the hospital, hoping it would motivate my racing rivals to do the same. But suppliers of gloves and protective masks are out of stock, and I knew a creative solution to the problem was needed. That’s where PRO raced to the rescue.”
Daniel Demaras, PRO Driver
PRO and Demaras are covering all the costs associated with building masks, but any individuals or businesses with access to 3D printing technology are strongly encouraged to do their part. Approved specifications for face shields are below, as well as locations where completed masks can be brought. If you are unable or unwilling to visit a local hospital to deliver the masks, Demaras will pick-up anywhere in Southern Ontario.
Formula 1 World Champion, FIA World Endurance Champion, and UNICEF ambassador Fernando Alonso joined the fight against ‘The Virus’ by making a huge donation. The Spaniard personally donated 300,000 masks and 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare laborers who are battling the infection.
The World Champion has raced in F1, WEC, the Dakar Rally and is schedule to race in the Indy 500 this year. Asked about his racing plans, Alonso deflected comment by saying
“…until this is all over, I don’t have much desire to fight or to think about putting the helmet back on…”
Last week, the hospital down the street from my house urgently requested gloves and masks from the public. The hospital is a coronavirus screening centre, and the nurses and doctors don’t even have enough protective gear to take care of patients. I couldn’t believe this was happening in my Toronto! So, I grabbed the boxes of nitrile gloves we bought for wrenching on the race kart this summer, and prepared a donation box. But it wasn’t enough.
Although I sent out a bunch of racing sponsorship proposals last month, I only got positive answers from two companies before the virus shut down businesses and racing. But I decided to spend my sponsor money on N95 masks and personal protective equipment to donate to Michael Garron Hospital. The problems facing Toronto hospitals are way more important than my racing season.
Just locating medical supplies was nearly impossible. Toronto was shocked last week when a high-end grocery store was caught price gouging on Lysol wipes. The store was taking advantage of a crisis situation by buying up cases of essential goods, jacking up the price, then selling it to a panicked public. The same thing happened in my neighbourhood where a local corner store was selling 1L bottles of hand sanitizer for $50. I didn’t call the authorities like the Ontario premier told us to. I went into the store with my sponsor cash and told him I wanted to buy him out, so I could donate it. He could make whatever money he wanted, and I would blow all the cash that was supposed to pay for tires and race fees. But it didn’t matter, as long as the hospital got what they needed.
For 10 minutes they store owner tried to justify what he was doing. That his customers were demanding the products, that his regular suppliers were out of stock and that he bought the products heavily marked up by a middle-man. I didn’t judge him. He’s just a small business trying to keep the lights on. But I had a target I needed to achieve mo matter the cost. He took my money, then filled up my donation box with hundreds of dollars more supplies. His generosity outweighed mine.
The sponsor money I spent was supposed to support my racing career this summer. The medical supplies the corner store was price gouging on was supposed to support his family during this economic crisis. Just remember that these are difficult times, and people do things that are out of character when stressed. There’s no good guy or bad guy.
Demaras Racing is helping our local hospital fight COVID-19 by spreading the word of the need for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Healthcare providers need PPE in order to safely care for patients with COVID-19. Hospitals across Ontario are facing a serious shortage of these items. Help make a difference by donating PPE items such as gloves, masks, goggles and gowns at Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital). The PPE Drive at this specific hospital has been going on all week, but it ends today (Friday, March 27th, 2020) at 3:00 pm.
The global car community is racing to fight ‘The Virus’. But stories about Formula 1 teams in the UK re-purposing their factories to build ventilators seems half a world away. What can be done at home, here in Toronto, to help?
Race down to Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital) to donate personal protection equipment such as face masks, protective gloves and goggles. Bring your supplies to the hospital before Friday March 27th, 2020, as these PPE supplies are urgently needed to fight “The Virus”. Businesses like nail salons, dental clinics, veterinary clinics or even drywallers and construction companies might have personal protective equipment on their shelves.
Not an elaborate or exciting challenge … but fundamental to fighting ‘The Virus’. A website for the supply drive has been started with the vision of other hospitals joining on. Announcements have been made about getting factories to produce needed equipment, but donations are needed to bridge the gap between now and then.
Michael Garron Hospital 825 Coxwell Ave, East York, ON, M4C-3E7 Monday March 23 – Friday March 27 7:30AM – 3:00PM
Receiving Department is located off Knight St, down the ramp.
Please note, donors will be required to a driver’s license and business card when making a hospital delivery. The receiving department will record the items donated. Donations will be acknowledged on the Donor Wall unless one wishes to remain anonymous.