Racing fan Trace Roy arrived at the Verizon IndyCar Series’ “Beer, Cheese and Charity” fundraiser Aug. 15 with a Checkered Flag Limited Edition bottle of Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka and a mission: get it autographed by Verizon IndyCar Series drivers as a gift for a friend.
Roy and his wife, Cindi, donated $25 each to attend the party, held in downtown Milwaukee at the Indyfest fan event before the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250. Admission and funds generated by the party’s online auction benefited Racing For Kids, a 25-year-old charity that brings IndyCar drivers to children’s hospitals across the country.
The Roys positioned themselves at a back table at “Beer, Cheese and Charity” – an outdoor, catered living room-like spot where fans could interact with drivers and watch Indyfest activities. Tastes of Miller-brand beers, paired with cheeses and other hors d’oeuvres were offered.
One by one, 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2013 and 2014 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter, and drivers Takuma Sato, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal arrived. They stopped to talk to fans and each other and sign memorabilia, including Roy’s bottle.
Even Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti dropped in on the party after a fan saw him nearby and asked if she could take a picture with him. And that gave Roy an opportunity to add Andretti’s signature to his bottle of Fuzzy’s.
By the time the Roys headed home to West Bend, Wis., their bottle had seven autographs and the couple declared the evening a success.
“It was a classy event without being over-the-top,” said Trace, who has been an Indy car fan for more than 30 years. “We could be ourselves.”
“Beer, Cheese and Charity” was a success for Racing For Kids, too. IndyCar donated $5,000 to the charity and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.