Cars for a Cause at Area 27 Motorsports Park in Oliver kicks off with OSNS kids getting to ride in race cars

Sports cars race to help kids

Casey Richardson

“Watching the kids go out on the track is pretty exciting.”

Big smiles were across plenty of young kids' faces on Thursday morning as the Cars for a Cause event kicked off at Area 27 benefitting the Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society (OSNS) Legacy Foundation.

One four-year-old, Benny Hindson, loved riding in two cars, especially the ‘orange McLaren.’

“I went around and around and around,” he said with a big grin, standing beside his mom.

The day began with parade laps with the kids and their families who use OSNS services. Soon after, individuals who purchased co-pilot rides jumped in their chosen sports car and buckled up for adrenaline-pumping laps around the track.

“Today is all about supporting the Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society. They do great work for kids with developmental challenges and their families. So it's important to Area 27 that we help out our community,” said Karla Kozakevich, Area 27 Motorsports general manager.

“All of the funds that come in today will go directly to OSNS. The members are donating their time, their cars, their breaks, their tires, gas, all of that.

The event hasn't taken place since 2019, and involves ‘an awful lot of work,’ according to Kozakevich.

“We started back in November picking the date that we could host this event and then staff worked on finding out what members wanted to be able to donate their time and vehicles, putting together those lists into different run groups, and then marketing the event and having it available for the public to purchase and partnering with OSNS. They've certainly helped to market this event along with us.”

Plenty of luxury, vintage, classic, hot rod, muscle, and imported vehicles were in the Show and Shine segment of the event for people to admire. 100 per cent of the registration fees will also be donated to the OSNS Legacy Foundation.

OSNS Board members Katherine Gross and Bernice Greg said funding from the event aims to help build up an endowment fund to stabilize the centre's funding.

“This event is so important to us to help get that endowment fund rolling and just raise the profile of OSNS,” Gross said.

“The Child Development Center is providing services to children from birth to 19 years and really filling a gap that is not available to them when they have challenges in their development,” Greg added.

“The hope in the long run is to have an endowment fund of around $10 million because that would give us the interest to meet the operating costs annually. But it's a goal and we're not there yet.”

The last time Cars for a Cause event ran, it raised over $100K, and OSNS is hoping to get near $50K by the end of the event Thursday.

The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre sees over 1,600 children annually and specializes in those with developmental challenges.

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