Every year for the past 13 years, event founder and organizer Franco Corona has taken many hours of his free time to put together a fundraising function he calls the Friends of Ferrari. Ferrari does actually participate, by donating actual racing attire (sized appropriately), plenty of authentic signage, and their ineffable magnetism around a racetrack of almost any description. In this case, a series of races culminated in a grand finale, all at a track built for the purpose at the Italian Cultural Centre.
Each of the eight mini race cars had an individual sponsor. Donations were then made to Friends of Ferrari, who distribute the complete proceeds to various charities, now numbering over 50, with a total sum raised over the years of $2,025,000. And counting. “We always wanted to do a fundraising partnership with Ferrari,” says Corona. “I love the cars so much, and had to find a way to work with them for a charitable purpose … And every year, the kids are the stars.”
Eight finalists competed in the finale, in a series of elimination races, and the last race featured the four fastest drivers. It was quite a show, and while the winner had a broad grin, it was no broader in fact than any of the other seven participants’. Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Oncology Unit was this year’s recipient of the $5,000 award. A splendid day for racing, it was, and for raising much needed funds.