SCCA, through a grant from the SCCA Foundation, will kick off the second year of its celebrated veteran outreach program this weekend.
The program, which will again be run in partnership with the award-winning non-profit VETMotorsports, works to help reduce the suicide rate among injured veterans by engaging them in transformative motorsports experiences.
As part of the program, veterans with service-connected injuries are placed inside the ropes and behind the wheel at select SCCA events, and mentored by SCCA members and staff.
The 2018 program officially kicks off with the West Coast Tire Rack CAM Challenge Powered by SCCA event April 20-22 at Crows Landing, Calif. The plan is to place veterans behind the wheel at all national Tire Rack CAM Challenge events; establish regional outreach programs in Arizona, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin; and find other opportunities to work one-on-one with veterans throughout the season.
“We are very grateful to the men and women who have served our country in defense of our freedom,” said Howard Duncan, SCCA Senior Director of Rally/Solo. “Military service builds leadership skills, teamwork, and dedication to task — all of which are applicable to motorsports. The SCCA Foundation is pleased to give back to our veterans through this program and welcome them to be part of the SCCA family in every community across the country.”
“We continue to do everything we can to try and reduce the veteran suicide rate, which stands at an unconscionable 22 veterans a day,” said VETMotorsports Founder and Executive Director Peter Cline. “Having the SCCA Foundation and the SCCA work hand in hand with us for a second year, to honor and empower these brave service men and women, is incredibly validating and gratifying. We can’t thank everyone at the SCCA enough for taking up this important cause. They understand and embrace what we’re doing, and they’re going to make a tremendous difference in these veterans’ lives.”
VETMotorsports is an award-winning, non-profit, non-clinical outreach program that honors and empowers injured post-9/11 service members by embedding them with professional racing teams and putting them behind the wheel to race in amateur events. By placing veterans in hands-on, high-stress, team environments that mimic active duty, the organization gives them direction, empowerment and challenges that help them focus on ability and moving forward rather than disability and the past. Since its founding in 2012, VETMotorsports has helped more than 190 veterans with service connected injuries and caregivers participate in more than 75 motorcycle and auto racing events across the United States. More information about the organization is available at www.VETMotorsports.org.