Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Charity Auction for Dan Wheldon Memorial Trust Starts Strong

Photo Credit: Daniel Incandela

Just under 10 days ago, auto racing great Dan Wheldon perished from injuries suffered in a devastating crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A moment that brought silence to a community that awakes to the loudness of racing engines and cheering crowds, the quietness has given the the world a chance to reflect on the greatness of a champion lost too soon. In this time of sadness, the way Dan Wheldon has left such a lasting impression on so many lives on and off the track. In turn for a man who devoted much of his 33 years to life in motorsports, the sporting world has given meaning to the English INDYCAR driver's life through many moving tributes.

One such memorial to the life of Dan Wheldon is a major charity auction currently underway on Ebay. An idea started when fellow INDYCAR competitor Graham Rahal promptly devoted himself to donate some of his racing gear to raise money for the late driver, Rahal's heartfelt enthusiasm and spirit would spread across the motorsport world. Growing into a major charity function benefiting the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund, the auction items span across INDYCAR, NASCAR and sports car racing as well as other professional sports. With 33 auction items posted as of early October 26, the generosity of the sporting world at large has brought together some unique pieces for bidders to purchase on the added note of raising money for a meaningful cause.

A sample of the notable items listed on the Ebay charity auction includes a selection of race used helmets and driving attire worn by Graham Rahal Dario Franchitti, Alex Tagliani, Pippa Mann and Bobby Rahal. A specific item attracting attention is a Firestone Tire Table. Signed by the entire 33-driver starting field of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 (including the late Dan Wheldon), the glass table top rests on top of a replica Firestone slick tire. With 8 day and 17 hours left in the auction, bidding for the super unique item of motorsport-themed furniture has been drawn to $5,200 US.

Early in the Dan Wheldon Charity Auction, one of the most active items is a Jimmie Johnson race helmet. A helmet the 5-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion is currently competing for the 2011 Chase for the Cup, Johnson's race-used helmet is presently holding a highest bid of $13,500 (with 8 days, 17 hours remaining).

Currently the second highest priced auction listing in benefit for the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund is a 1-week stay at Manzanillo, Mexico's super luxurious Villa Paraiso drawing a $11,211 bid. Racing themed trips included in the charity auction consists of VIP packages to the 2012 Rolex 24 Hour of Daytona and the June 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Pocono Raceway.

Away from auto racing, sports items such as an autographed Channel Islands surfboard from Kelly Slater, a signed football by Walter Payton and a hockey stick signed by the 2011-2012 LA Kings NHL team are some piece that were graciously donated to generate proceeds for Dan Wheldon's family.

Bidding for items within the Dan Wheldon Charity Auction will run up to November 4th.

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