Event Raised Funds and Awareness to Discourage Distracted Driving
On June 14th, 18 teams of drivers sped around the track at Grand Prix New York, competing in a 90-minute endurance race in a first-of-its-kind fundraising event for Project Yellow Light, an organization that inspires teens to educate each other about the dangers of distracted driving. The event, organized by Greenwich High School Students Ben Albano and Beau Dealy, raised $2,200. “Our age group needs to take the lead in putting a stop to distracted driving. By raising funds and holding this event we hope to help further the cause of Project Yellow Light,” said Albano.
Julie Garner, with her husband and daughter, founded Project Yellow Light after losing her son, Hunter, in a car crash six years ago this week, at the age of 16. “We are so thrilled and honored with this amazing community effort. Ben Albano and Beau Dealy have done something very special here in raising awareness of distracted driving, the number one killer of our youth in this nation,” said Garner. “This is actually the first time anyone has ever done a fundraiser on behalf of our effort and we are absolutely blown away and humbled. I just can’t tell you how much it means to us.”
Sixty-two participants, including high school students from Fairfield and Westchester counties, a team of Skip Barber Racing School mechanics, and three teams of firefighters from Greenwich CT, competed in the race, with the top finishers taking home trophies and prizes. GT Class winners (more experienced drivers) were: Paige Jockimo of Somers, NY in first place, as the only 1-person team; Skip Barber mechanics of Lime Rock, CT in second place; and teammates Addison Albano of Greenwich, CT and Alex Eickelbeck of Armonk, NY in third place. Pro Class winners were: teammates Oliver Coates, Mike Fong and Chris Freda of Greenwich, CT in first place; teammates Peter Smith, Jack Benenson and Hamid Salehzadeh of Greenwich, CT in second place; and teammates Owen Gerber and Max Weiss of Greenwich, CT in third place.
“Grand Prix New York wanted to host and sponsor this fundraiser for Project Yellow Light because we know that while driving karts is fun, being on the road is serious business,” said GPNY Vice President Nat Mundy. “We have a perfect opportunity here to capture the attention of young drivers and help educate them about the dangers and potential consequences of distracted driving.”
Additional event sponsors included 12 Beverage, Birdie's Auto Spa, The Coughlin Group, Fresh Green Light Driving School, Rand Insurance, Skip Barber Racing School and U.S. Pavement.
Grand Prix New York Racing (GPNY) is the only large indoor racing, social entertainment, and corporate event venue in the New York City-metro area. Centrally located in the village of Mount Kisco New York, GPNY is a unique 118,000-square-foot facility that offers a quarter-mile-long, state-of-the-art racetrack for all ages; Spins Bowl (a 19-lane bowling center and special events services); Fuel restaurant and bar, with award-winning catering; an arcade, carnival room, banquet facility, conference rooms, and more. GPNY is actively involved in community outreach and fundraising efforts. Since its inception in 2008, GPNY has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities by hosting high-profile fundraising events. For more information about GPNY, visit their website at www.gpny.com.
Project Yellow Light
Project Yellow Light is a scholarship competition designed to bring about change. Applicants have a clear mission: encourage peers to develop and embrace safe driving habits. For both the high school and college contests, the first-place winners receive a scholarship in the amount of $5,000, second-place finishers receive $2,000, and third-place finishers receive $1,000. Project Yellow Light was founded in memory of Hunter Garner - a 16-year-old with a dry wit, wicked sense of humor, interesting creative mind, who loved music, running, and had lots of friends from all walks of life. Hunter died in a car crash on June 10, 2007. For more information about Project Yellow Light, visit www.projectyellowlight.com.