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Donations Speed Up at Diabetes Foundation

In one minute and 33 seconds, the Ferrari Enzo made it all the way around the 2.5-mile track. And in the process raised more money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Charity Race Track Day, which sent sports cars speeding around the Willow Springs Race Track, featured exotic cars such as the Enzo, a Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 and a Ferrari 599 – all capable of top speeds approaching or beyond 200 mph. The Feb. 5 event in Rosamond was organized by L.A. Car Connection, a Westlake Village car broker that finds vehicles ranging from the modest-priced to the super expensive. One such car, the rare $1.2 million Ferrari Enzo, recorded the fastest time on the track. Ashley Ingram, marketing director for the Car Connection, said the event raised $24,000 for the diabetes foundation and Ryan’s Mission, an organization founded by NASCAR driver Ryan Reed, who has Type 1 Diabetes. The money came from a combination of lap sponsorships and direct donations. “It was the ultimate guys’ day and a great opportunity for us to raise some money for these charities,” Ingram said. The diabetes foundation is focused on raising awareness and funding for Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes research. Executive Director Bob Reid said the Car Connection approached his organization about holding the inaugural event. “We have a broad reach,” Reid said. “Last year, the foundation as a whole helped fund more than $100 million in grants.” The L.A. chapter of the New York foundation raised about $5 million toward the charity through its various fundraisers last year, according to Reid. He said more than 25 requests for help to manage Type 1 diabetes come into the office every month. “These events are important because it helps people know we’re there to help,” he said. Tax Season The Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley district of H&R Block has organized a food drive to support Help the Children, an organization that assists children of needy families. Customers are being encouraged to donate food into bins that have been placed at all the tax preparer’s outlets in the area. The Valencia branch of Help the Children organized more than 5,600 shopping trips for food, clothing and personal hygiene products at its warehouse last year, said Michael Santomauro, director of the Valencia branch. He said corporate sponsorships such as the one being conducted by H&R Block are crucial to help the organization with its mission. “We want to get struggling families back on their feet,” Santomauro said. The organization is headquartered in Bell and has provided more than $600 million in aid since its founding in 1998. Estate Planning The Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Conejo Valley has received a $20,000 contribution to help fund education and career development programs. The donation comes from the estate of Ray McCarron and Betty McCarron, who together ran an advertising agency in Pasadena. “They wanted to help charities for children,” said Paul Shane, trustee of the estate. The club plans to use the donation to help fund its robotic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum) workshop, which will offer children hands-on experience in designing and building robots. “This will truly make a difference in the lives of the children,” said Wendy Brenner, the club’s vice president. The club has an annual budget of $2.5 million and serves 3,200 children ages 3 to 14 at its locations in Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park. Top Donor Anthem Blue Cross of California was named donor of the year by the Jessie Rees Foundation. The Woodland Hills office was responsible for more than $50,000 in donations to the Rancho Santa Margarita foundation, which supports pediatric cancer patients. “Their mission and our mission really align,” said Darrel Ng, an Anthem spokesman. “It’s all about quality of life.” The organization was founded in 2011 by Jesse Rees when she was suffering from brain cancer at the age of 12. She died last year. The foundation provided JoyJars – which carry 15 to 20 toys – to more than 50,000 children with cancer last year. Jeff Gibson, vice president of the board for the foundation, said Anthem was the Rees’ family insurer and didn’t stop helping the family when the founder’s fight was lost. “Anthem has just been there every step of the way,” he said. “They help us spread our message. Never give up.” Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at (818) 316-3123 or egolan@sfvbj.com.

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