BROWNSBURG, Ind. --
One of his goals 12 years ago was realized in 2016 when DSR, its marketing partners and friends in the NHRA drag racing community raised a record of more than $110,000 for Riley.
The last of two annual efforts was on Dec. 7 when a record total of more than $26,000 was raised through the seventh annual Bowling for Riley Kids: This is How We Roll Night in Indianapolis.
That combined with $80,000 generated through the 11th annual DSR Open House presented by Pennzoil on Friday (Sept. 2) of the NHRA U.S. Nationals to push the 2016 total for the year to over $100,000 for the first time. An additional $3,500 was raised through various DSR packages offered on Ebay.com.
To date, DSR events have raised nearly $500,000 for Riley Kids.
"Our goal in planning the 2006 DSR Open House was simply to invite our fans to meet the DSR drivers and see the DSR race shop on their way to the U.S. Nationals," Lewis said. "Admission was free - and it still is - but we worked with our sponsors, Riley Hospital and the Indy Hi-Winders Car Club on some fund-raising ideas. We didn't know how many fans would show up or if we would do it every year but it grows year after year."
About 4,000 attended this year's DSR Open House.
"Riley designates one official Riley Kid each year and we have met some extraordinary Riley Kids and their families over the years," Lewis added. "It's exciting to see those past Riley Kids return with their families year after year. There is no better example of the work performed each day at Riley Hospital for Children than watching those Riley Kids grow into healthy young adults."
Cara Lathrop, vice president development for statewide initiatives for the Riley Children's Foundation, has watched the partnership grow.
"Don Schumacher Racing has been an enthusiastic supporter of Riley Hospital and Riley kids for more than 11 years," she said. "Their passion and commitment to Riley families is shown through their generous philanthropic support annually, visits to the hospital and through hosting Riley families at their events.
"We couldn't be more proud to celebrate Don Schumacher Racing raising more than $100,000 for Riley Hospital to help support world-class care, pediatric research and family support services."
This year's Bowling for Riley Kids received a big boost when Hangsterfer's Metalworking Lubricants and BoninfanteRacing.com committed to underwrite the cost of producing the event at Royal Pins' Western Bowl (6441 W. Washington Street). Those noted manufacturers were complemented by 38 businesses that purchased lane sponsorship packages including: Advertising Edge, Amalie Oil, AutoImagery.com, Bandimere Speedway, Brown and Miller Racing, Big Woods Speedway restaurant and brewery, Blue Valor, Carlyle Tools, Chandler Aviation, Coca-Cola, Comp Cams Chicagoland Speedway, Clevite, CV Products, Dale Miles Shell, FireCore Performance, Freelance Graphics, Gateway Motorsports Park, Impact Racing, IU Health, IndyCar Series, Jeg's, Jesel, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Mahle, Michael Andretti Foundation, Matco Tools, Mattingly Construction, NAPA AUTO PARTS, Nitro Sew, Papa John's Pizza, Plymouth Tube, Sandvik Coromant, Steele Benefits, RebilasPhoto.com, Subway, Trend Performance and USA Compressions.
Papa John's Pizza, NAPA AUTO PARTS, Subway and Coca-Cola supplied food and beverages for the VIP room throughout the night.
On Sept. 2, more than $80,000 was raised through the Open House. Among the ways Pennzoil, the "The Official Oil Technology of DSR," supported the Open House was providing special Pennzoil event T-shirts to the first 500 guests attending.
In addition to a silent auction, visitors to the free event enjoyed one of Indiana's biggest indoor car shows presented by the Indy Hi-Winders Car Club, a wild Cacklefest and autograph session with all eight DSR drivers and team owner Don Schumacher.
An added feature was honoring NHRA's salute to "50 years of Funny Car" with an entertaining discussion among legendary Funny Car drivers Ed "Ace" McCulloch, Tom "Mongoose" McEwen, 2016 hall-of-fame inductee and DSR crew chief Mark Oswald and Don Schumacher that was hosted by Bob Frey.
Plans are underway for the 2017 events; the Open House will be on Sept. 1 to open the NHRA U.S. Nationals weekend and Bowling for Riley Kids will be on Dec. 6, the before the start of the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Downtown Indy.