How To Get Involved With Pippa Mann
A couple of weeks ago, we learned that Pippa Mann had been confirmed to return to the pink Susan G. Komen car for the second consecutive year in this year’s Indianapolis 500. I can’t say it was a surprise. If you follow Pippa at all on social media, you know just how active she has been all through the past year, being involved with Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer.
Now we all have a chance to get involved. This past Friday, Pippa launched her Month of May campaign that will run through the night of the Indianapolis 500. Her goal is to raise $50,000 during the month.
Although I’ve yet to have a family member touched by this horrible disease, I lost a friend and former co-worker to breast cancer just last month. Her name was Amy Alexander. She and I worked together from 2004-2010. She was diagnosed in 2012. I saw her a year later when she had been pronounced cancer-free after surgery and treatments and she looked great. Unfortunately, the cancer returned in 2014 and she lost her battle last month, the day before Easter. She was forty-six years old. She left behind her husband and three children, including a nine year-old daughter.
Sadly, most people reading this probably have a story very similar to this one involving either a family member or someone they know. As the video on Pippa’s website points out, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.
You can use almost any cliché to describe the efforts of Pippa Mann over the past year. She has put her money (and time) where her mouth is and she has talked the talk as she walked the walk. She has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to this disease and bring in donations to help fight it.
Last year, her ride and campaign came together rather quickly – in fact, too quickly to properly plan for it. The Susan G. Komen organization was quite happy with the amount of money raised over a short period of time, but Pippa was frustrated because she felt there was not enough time to plan a proper fundraising campaign.
That is not the case this year. As I mentioned earlier, we all have a chance to “Get Involved”.
The campaign that kicked off Friday has already been a rousing success. By Friday night, over $13,000 of the $50,000 goal had already been raised. But this is not something where you give money and that’s it. Other than the good feeling knowing you’ve given to a worthy cause, there are some really great “perks” involved with your contribution. Due to the day job, I didn’t get to make my contribution until Friday night. By that time, many perks were already gone. The one I was really hoping for was a 1/18 scale die-cast replica of Pippa’s car that came with a $75 donation.
But there were others left. For a $35 donation, you can have a behind the scenes Garage Tour conducted by Steve Wittich of Trackside Online, who also serves as a spotter for the ABC telecast. I know Steve and I can assure anyone who opts for the tour, that they will receive an in-depth tour. Steve has his ear to the ground and really knows his stuff. He is one of my “go-to” people for information. He is also very conscientious and I am confident that anyone who gets a tour by Steve will come away feeling they were well taken care of.
For a $38 contribution, you get to race with Pippa at Fastimes Indoor Karting with food from Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Indianapolis on June 30th. If I lived in central Indiana, I would definitely be going for that one.
For $25, you can get a T-shirt that says “Pippa races for___” and you can write in the name of someone who has been afflicted with this disease.
Smaller donations are very welcome. For a donation of $8, you get a Susan G. Komen Koozie and for $5, you’ll receive a Susan G. Komen wristband.
Those with larger budgets can receive some Doug Garrison racing artwork and even Pippa’s driving suit from the "500"
Even though the response has been tremendous, this campaign is still in its infancy. It looks promising that the $50,000 goal will be met well before the deadline of midnight May 24, which is also the date of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500. It would be great if ABC could run her video which will direct viewers to her website. Even if you have no interest in donating, you should check it out just for the cinematography at IMS. The production value of this video is outstanding.
I’ve made a nominal donation, and yes – I’ve asked for my perk. Rarely do I ask a favor of my readers, but this is a worthy cause. I also think that Pippa Mann is probably the best single ambassador of the Verizon IndyCar Series. She is constantly interacting with fans and promoting our series. This is a way we can pay her back for all the tireless work she puts in, not only for the series, but for the fight against breast cancer.
To donate and see the full list of available perks, please go to pippamann.com/getinvolved. You can also help spread the word through social media with the hashtag #GetInvolved. Thanks for helping out a true friend of IndyCar and helping to fight a terrible disease at the same time.