09.12.2012 - Karting With The Stars at Orlando Kart Center to raise money for SCI awareness

ORLANDO, Fla. – On November 10 beginning at 10:30 a.m. a special Karting With The Stars event will take place at the Orlando Kart Center at 201 Parcel Lane in Orlando.

The event is a benefit for the Greater Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Network and is hosted by the Disability Wellness Center.

The following was provided to WKA from David Bruinsma, an Orlando-area WKA Road Racing Series veteran and former national champion.

For more information about the event, visit http://kartingwiththestars.org.

We are in the process of developing a celebrity Kart race to raise money for the Greater Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Network (GOSCIN).   Our event will be held at the Orlando Kart Center (http://orlandokartcenter.com/) on November 10.   There will be 10 teams competing for awards and prizes.  Each team will be comprised of a celebrity, a spinal cord injury patient, a sponsor, and an auction seat winner.  

Anyone interested in participating can bid from our website for the chance to be on one of the ten teams.   Because Orlando Kart Center, our celebrities, and the other companies involved have donated all their time and equipment for free, the money raised will all be donated to GOSCIN.

All started when:
Doctor David Portee, the medical director for Lucerne Rehab Institute, was introduced to karting by one of his patients who began racing in a TaG kart at local events.   After learning of the sport and how his patient has adapted his kart with hand controls to compete, Dr. Portee wondered how many other patients could benefit from a hobby like karting, a sport where they can compete equally with able-bodied drivers. 

Dr. Portee talked to a coworker about developing a kart race to raise money for GOSCIN and awareness for karting.   Since his coworker knew I (David Bruinsma) was involved in kart racing they asked me to help with the project, and together we began developing a race program that could meet these objectives.  

Best moment so far:
Last weekend we took several spinal cord injury patients to Orlando Kart Center to test their ability to drive the new hand controls made for the OKC kart.  It was so much fun to introduce all of them to karting and see their faces after experiencing it for the first time.  I feel like after 20 years of kart racing and 20 years of fitting patients for wheelchairs that I have a unique opportunity to merge my life experiences to help raise money for a great cause.

Our Mission:
The mission of the Karting with the Stars Fundraiser is to raise funds for The Greater Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Network and the Disability Wellness Center as they strive to support Central Florida spinal cord injury survivors as well as raise spinal cord injury awareness. The fund-raising event will be a fun filled, family centered kart racing experience, which recruits the services of celebrities and local sponsors. Our organization is composed entirely of volunteers from a diverse group of compassionate citizens of the Central Florida community, spinal cord injury survivors, as well as business and medical professionals.