If you clicked open this post expecting to read my opinion about the Mexico tariffs, the falling 10 year treasury yield, or any of the other market / economic related headlines to come out this week, I am sorry to say you will be disappointed.
No, this post today is to share with you some photos and to tell you about one of my favorite events of the year that took place over the weekend. This year I was lucky enough to again partake in a joint event hosted by Ultimate Road Rally for the benefit of Cal’s Angels called “Angel Rides.” Angel Rides is an opportunity for the children of Cal’s Angels to go for rides in various cars ranging from super cars, muscle cars, even old school classics. Similar to the events we have hosted for Cal’s Angels, and like many of the Cal’s Angels events, the spirit is to provide even a moment of relief in these children’s lives.
The Angel Rides event was actually the final component of a larger event that took place that day. On Sunday, me and other members of the Ultimate Road Rally (URR) did a rally down to Starved Rock, with our teams completing various challenges along the way. Despite what people may initially think, the Rally is not a race, it is really more of a team work challenge where your team is working to stay as a group of cars and complete the challenges together. New challenges along the way are not unlocked within the URR app until the prior challenge is completed. Along the way, we and our Co Drivers would be prompted to answer Cal’s related questions within the app, answering what Cal’s means to us and even submitting new idea’s to help the organization even further. And our final challenge, of course, was to make it back to Irongate for the Angel Rides event. My Team, Team Irongate, won the Rally but that is beside the point ;)
When we returned to Irongate we were greeted by more than 50 children, along with their siblings and parents. They all lined a red carpet while we lined up in the cars getting ready to pick our first passenger. After a brief word from Stacey Sutter, Co founder of Cal’s Angels, we gathered outside to watch the inaugural “first ride” in none-other a Porsche 918. We then did lap after lap of the predetermined route, dropping off and picking up a new child with a new grin on their face. Each one excited to tell me about the car they had previously been in and me (jokingly) assuring them that mine was much faster than whatever previous one they had been in. Some of the riders laughed, some put their hands up in the air like a roller coaster, and one even insisted I put on Vanilla Ice (which he insisted would make his ride even better.) Other riders just there with a smile on their face, sitting contently in my passenger seat as they took it all in.
The event is assisted by the Illinois State Police, who actually provide a police escort along the way to ensure the safety of the cars and, more importantly, our passengers. It is such a unique event because it provides the opportunity for these kids to experience cars that they perhaps had only seen in video games, or maybe from a distance out on the road. The reactions are always one of the best parts of the afternoon. We’d hear everything from the enthusiastic “Man, this is so cool” to the always humorous “Wait until I tell my friends that I got to ride in a McLaren” every single child (and even a couple of the dads) we give rides to had the biggest smile on their face.
This is one of my most special events because it is another moment when I am absolutely floored by the generosity of the Chicago car community. Before participating I would have never imagined the moment where we’d get dozens and dozens of people willing to bring out their cars (some valued at over $2mm) for the sole purpose of making a child’s day.
On Sunday, URR raised just under $20,000 for Cal’s Angels. But perhaps more importantly was the fun afternoon provided to the children and their families.
About Cals Angels
Cal’s Angels is a 501(c)(3) pediatric cancer foundation established in 2007 in memory of Cal Sutter, a 12-year-old who lost his battle with leukemia in 2006. Cal’s kindness and generosity inspired the start of Cal’s Angels. In just over 10 years, we have been able to bring hope and support to thousands of kids with cancer and their families.