The Graham and Courtney Rahal Foundation hosted its annual Drivers Tournament powered by United Rentals on Thursday, May 27, to raise funds for two causes closest to the Rahal family's hearts. Today, the organization announces it will donate $150,000 each to Turns for Troops, which benefits the efforts of SoldierStrong USA, as well as Colorado State University's One Cure as a result of the proceeds from the 2021 GCRF Drivers Tournament.
"The Drivers Tournament powered by United Rentals is one of my favorite events throughout the year," said Graham Rahal. "It is an opportunity to take two things I truly love, golf and the Indianapolis 500, and combine them for a wonderful cause. When I started the Drivers Tournament years ago, I could have never imagined where we would be today. Just in the last four years, we've donated nearly $1 million to Turns For Troops / SoldierStrong and One Cure. I speak for both Courtney and I when I say we are both proud and honored to work with these two wonderful organizations who are dedicated to our veterans, pets and peers.
"We set a goal each year to raise and donate more money than that of the year's past and we knew it was going to be a tough task to exceed last year's numbers. Because of so many generous partners and people, we were able to donate over $68,000 more this year and I think we all had a blast breaking last year's record. Courtney and I are already looking forward to making next year's event bigger and better!"
This year's tournament was hosted at the Country Club of Indianapolis and saw 164 golfers play the course's 18 holes. Side games included three hole-in-one prizes courtesy of Honda, NetJets and Rahal Ducati Indianapolis, longest drive, longest putt and closest to the pin. Fusek's True Value held a "putting challenge" at the putting green with a new Webber Grill and accessories as a prize for one lucky winner. Alongside the play and games ran the GCRF Online Auction. With items such as HRE wheels, golf experiences, sports memorabilia and much more, the auction raised over $54,000 for the tournament.
"We were honored to again be involved with the Drivers Tournament, which is always a highlight," said Dale Asplund, Chief Operating Officer of United Rentals. "This record-setting year will deliver expanded resources for SoldierStrong, boosting the impact of our Turns for Troops program and making a real difference in the lives of those who have served. It also boosts the important cancer research being done by the One Cure team. Graham and Courtney both know plenty about doing great work on the track, but the work they do with their foundation is just as impressive."
The donation to Turns For Troops / SoldierStrong will be used to provide a SoldierSuit to get a veteran back on his or her feet. Composed of various state-of-the-art rehabilitation and powered prosthetic technologies, the SoldierSuit addresses a variety of combat and non-combat related disabilities to help its recipient live a fulfilling and empowered live long after their service to our country is over.
"Graham and Courtney Rahal are champions on the track and to so many people whose lives they have improved. Their generosity, combined with that of the individuals and organizations supporting their foundation, makes a profound, lasting difference in the lives of men and women who served our country and now need our help to take their next steps forward. Our gratitude for the foundation's support is greater than words can ever describe," said Chris Meek, SoldierStrong chairman and co-founder.
Colorado State University's One Cure will use the contribution to further comparative oncology research and clinical trials at the Flint Animal Cancer Center. Through companion animal clinical trials, One Cure is finding better and more-affordable treatments, improved diagnostic tools and even preventative interventions, which can benefit all cancer patients.
"On behalf of the CSU Flint Animal Cancer based One Cure Team, and veterinary and human cancer patients, we couldn't be more grateful for the continued support of Graham and Courtney Rahal, their foundation and all who participated in the Drivers Tournament. This year's contribution allows us to accelerate critical research, including the Losartan trial now enrolling children with bone cancer in Denver and Atlanta. As the philanthropist who makes the sponsorships possible with the #15 RLL Team says, 'Drive it like you stole it!'. The faster we go, the faster we get to a cure - One Cure," said Dr. Christine Hardy, DVM, MBA, MPH, operations and strategy for One Cure.
The efforts of the Graham and Courtney Rahal Foundation would not be possible without the generous support of United Rentals, Luther Automotive, Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, event sponsors, those who donated product and items, and all the individuals who supported by bidding on auction items, volunteering, and donating to a great cause.
Next year's tournament will be held on its traditional Thursday prior to the Indianapolis 500, May 26, 2022, at the Country Club of Indianapolis.