For the third consecutive year, access to the Honda Toronto Indy is free today (Friday, July 6, 2012), thanks to the Ontario Honda Dealers Association OHDA).
The cost of admission is being covered by the OHDA.
In lieu of admission, Free Friday attendees are encouraged to donate to Make-a-Wish Canada – and every dollar contributed will be matched by an additional donation from Honda Canada.
Over the past two years, more than $200,000 has been raised for the organization through the Free Friday program. Make-a-Wish grants more than 400 wishes a year to children with life-threatening medical conditions, through eight regional chapters across Canada.
"Honda and the public have been extremely generous in support of our wish-granting efforts over the past two years," said Jennifer Klotz-Ritter, CEO of Make-a-Wish Canada, at the track on Thursday.
"The power of wishes and the power of dreams (Honda's slogan) – it's a natural fit," she said.
Not only is the Honda Indy Toronto an opportunity to raise money for Make-a-Wish, approximately 100 "wish-kids" and their families will have a chance to attend the event and meet with some of the drivers on Friday.
In introducing Klotz-Ritter, Jerry Chenkin, Executive Vice-President of Honda Canada, explained the company's dedication to Make-a-Wish by quoting one of company founder, Soichiro Honda's many mantras: "If you dream you can make the dream a reality."
In addition to the Free-Friday support program, Honda Canada has in the past sponsored a car wearing Make-a-Wish identification in the races in both Toronto and Edmonton.
Asked whether that would be the case this year, Chenkin said it would not. That deal had been in conjunction with Canadian driver Paul Tracy, who was unable to find a ride for this year's races, Chenkin explained.
Tracy still has a relationship with both Make-a-Wish and Honda Canada, Chenkin explained. "We didn't feel it was appropriate to get involved with another driver at this time," he said.
There's lots to see and do at the track on Friday, including two hour-long IndyCar practice sessions. If you're in the Greater Toronto Area, don't miss it.
More information on Make-a-Wish Canada is available at makeawish.ca.