DuPage PADS fundraiser keeps racing forward

  • Randall Rosen of Wheaton, racing for F1 Thunder, keeps ahead of Zach Hillman of Chicago, racing for Team VFC, during the DuPage PADS' "The Drive for 55: The Race to End Homelessness in DuPage County" at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison Teams raised money and then competed in a 6-hour Karting enduro race Sunday to help the DuPage PADS meet its goals of raising $55,000. The teams raised more than $87,000.

      Randall Rosen of Wheaton, racing for F1 Thunder, keeps ahead of Zach Hillman of Chicago, racing for Team VFC, during the DuPage PADS' "The Drive for 55: The Race to End Homelessness in DuPage County" at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison Teams raised money and then competed in a 6-hour Karting enduro race Sunday to help the DuPage PADS meet its goals of raising $55,000. The teams raised more than $87,000. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Racers navigate a turn during the DuPage PADS's "The Drive for 55: The Race to End Homelessness in DuPage County" at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison on Sunday. Teams raised money and then competed in a 6-hour Karting enduro race to help the DuPage PADS meet its goals of raising $55,000. Teams raised more than $87,000.

      Racers navigate a turn during the DuPage PADS's "The Drive for 55: The Race to End Homelessness in DuPage County" at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison on Sunday. Teams raised money and then competed in a 6-hour Karting enduro race to help the DuPage PADS meet its goals of raising $55,000. Teams raised more than $87,000. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • "The Drive for 55: The Race to End Homelessness in DuPage County" at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison on Sunday. Teams raised money and then competed in a 6-hour Karting enduro race to help the DuPage PADS meet its goals of raising $55,000. Teams raised more than $87,000.

      "The Drive for 55: The Race to End Homelessness in DuPage County" at Chicago Indoor Racing in Addison on Sunday. Teams raised money and then competed in a 6-hour Karting enduro race to help the DuPage PADS meet its goals of raising $55,000. Teams raised more than $87,000. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/26/2012 4:40 PM

The first joint fundraising effort by Chicago Indoor Racing and DuPage PADS was titled "The Drive for 25" because organizers hoped it would raise $25,000 for the fight against homelessness.

It raised roughly $55,000.

 

Given that response, organizers called the groups' second fundraiser, held Sunday in Addison, "The Drive for 55."

By Sunday afternoon it had raised more than $87,000.

So the question is: What to call next year's event?

"We've already been talking about that," said a smiling Joel Weinberger, a Hinsdale resident and Naperville business owner who sits on the PADS board of directors. "Maybe we should just go with 'Drive for 100?'"

"The Drive for 55" was held at Chicago Indoor Racing on Army Trail Road. Eighteen teams, each of which raised money for the event, competed in the 6-hour indoor karting race. How much each team raised determined its starting position on the track.

The event brought out kart-racing experts and novices, children under the age of 12 and veteran racers who have been at it for decades.

Weinberger, a racing fan who developed the idea of a DuPage PADS/Chicago Indoor Racing fundraiser, said he was delighted with the response.

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"This is just amazing," he said, "well beyond my expectations."

All of the money raised goes to DuPage PADS, a Wheaton-based organization that provides housing, support and employment services to the homeless in DuPage County. Last year, the group served 1,238 people, including 170 children.

"We're always trying to raise people's awareness of the scope of the homeless problem in our county," DuPage PADS Executive Director Carol Simler said. "Events like today's really help, and the community's response has been wonderful."

Naperville residents Bob and Mary Bruski attended the race to watch their 18-year-old daughter, Lauren, drive in it. Lauren Bruski has been driving the gas-powered racing karts for years.

"We've always enjoyed the camaraderie that exists among the families who do this," Mary Bruski said. "And today, you feel it even more. You never know when you might be in that situation (homelessness), so it feels really special to be part of something that helps out."

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