Dane Cameron Makes First Visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital

SEATTLE, Wash. – New No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving & Salvage/Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT driver Dane Cameron will race in support of Seattle Children’s Hospital next season and made his first visit to the impressive medical center last week along with team co-drivers James Gué and Joe Foster and a group of Dempsey Racing teammates and fellow Team Seattle supporters.

“It was a great to get a chance to visit the Seattle Children’s Hospital prior to the start of season,” said Cameron, who was named to the Team Seattle/Dempsey Racing No. 41 last month. “I was extremely impressed with the facility itself as well with the technology involved, it’s a truly warming environment filled with a compassionate staff.”

In addition to Cameron, Gué and Foster, the group participating in the December 15th visit included Global Diving/JG Sport principals John and Jeri Graham, Team Seattle Founder and driver Don Kitch, members of the media and several other supporting representatives from Global Diving/JG Sport, Team Seattle and Dempsey Racing. The tour was conducted by Seattle Children’s Dr. Gordon A. Cohen, MD, PhD, and the group also spent time with Team Seattle Guild member and Children’s cardiac patient Kami Sutton prior to making the rounds.

“I certainly feel like an official member of Team Seattle now after the visit and it was great to be able to see the history of what Team Seattle truly is about and what has been accomplished over the past several years,” Cameron said. “After getting to see the hospital first hand, it has become a much more personal mission to me to ensure that in 2011 Team Seattle raises even more than the $540,000 raised in 2010.”

Last year’s record contribution was anchored by the on-track success of the No. 41 Mazda team that donated all of its prize money to Seattle Children’s through the Team Seattle Guild, which has now raised over $4 million dollars for the hospital since the program’s inception in 1997. The ongoing effort has made Team Seattle the second largest contributing guild affiliated with Seattle Children’s and has helped make the hospital one the few pediatric medical centers in the country with intensive care services and space devoted exclusively to cardiac patients. Established in 2005 and named after Sutton, the Kami Renee Sutton Cardiac Intensive Care Unit has helped Children’s set the standard for family-centered pediatric cardiac intensive care.

“It is a very touching and emotional experience to see so many children in the intensive care unit during the holidays,” Cameron said. “It makes me feel extremely fortunate to be able to do what I love as a profession and be able to use it to raise money to help save lives at Seattle Children’s.”
Team Seattle’s next mission is to raise the millions of dollars required for the Heart Center’s development of a cardiac hybrid surgical suite. Cardiac hybrid surgery combines the expertise of specialists in cardiac catheterization and cardiac surgery and provides less invasive, lower risk treatments for cardiac patients. Development of a cardiac hybrid surgical suite at Children’s will benefit the pediatric cardiac population globally.

This past season marked the first time the Team Seattle cause expanded to a full, 12-race campaign after focusing in the past strictly on successful fundraising campaigns at major races such as the Rolex 24 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Next year’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona will be the 14th Team Seattle fundraising effort in America’s premier endurance race.

In addition to the No. 41 Mazda RX-8 GT, the team’s No. 40 Mazda of Foster and team owner Patrick Dempsey will also carry Seattle Children’s Hospital logos alongside its existing Dempsey Challenge branding in support of the annual fundraising event in Dempsey’s hometown of Lewiston, Maine.
Next up for Dempsey Racing is the Roar Before the Rolex 24 Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, Jan. 7 – 9, where both the No. 40 and No. 41 teams will participate.

- In addition to season-long drivers Gué and Cameron, the entry for the No. 41 for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27 – 30, lists two-time class winner Kitch, a returning teammate and proven Rolex Series race winner. Canadian talent Dave Lacey will return to the No. 41 after running with Gué, Kitch and then team driver Leh Keen in last year’s Rolex 24. The No. 41 will also benefit from the addition of American-based British driver Ian James who has won in GT and Daytona Prototype competition. The full Rolex 24 driver lineup for the No. 40 will be announced early in the New Year.

- Cameron is looking forward to Christmas but also the racing season that immediately follows. “I am going home to California to spend Christmas with family then returning to my new home in Atlanta before the New Year,” Cameron said. “The 2011 season can’t come fast enough!”

source http://www.grand-am.com

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