Main / Anatomy of a car / The track / The drivers / A fan's guide / Parking & area info / Panoramic photos

printer version

Race car drivers join 300 at inaugural Grand Prix ball

The event held at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort will benefit three bay area charities.

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 21, 2003

[Times photo: Lara Cerri]
Driver Roberto Moreno of Brazil shows pictures of his family to, from left, Sandra Machek, Karyn Ringhaver and Karen Maguire at the Grand Prix Drivers' and Ambassadors' Ball.

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Grand Prix Foundation of St. Petersburg held its inaugural fundraising gala Thursday evening in the Palm Court Ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort.

About 300 people were on the guest list for the black-tie event.

Linda Cassell, who co-chaired the Grand Prix Drivers' and Ambassadors' Ball with her husband, Jim, said attendance was superb for a first-time benefit.

Proceeds will go to three bay area charities: the Salvation Army, the Bayfront Health Foundation and the National Conference for Community and Justice.

Gary Elliott, one of the Salvation Army representatives at the gala, said the money is welcome, especially after lean winter holiday receipts.

Financial challenges have caused cutbacks at numerous area nonprofits, including the Salvation Army.

The Grand Prix Foundation money will be donated to the Salvation Army's job merit program, which helps the needy find work and offers support services to help clients keep their jobs.

At Bayfront Medical Center, the contributions will go toward expansion of the emergency department.

The third recipient is conference's Anytown program, which encourages diverse groups of youngsters to create communities based on respect and understanding.

Chris Pook, president and chief executive officer of Championship Auto Racing Teams, said the organization encourages charitable foundations in the cities where its events take place.

The races "do impact cities both positively and negatively," he said.

"When you take out, you've got to give back."

The fundraisers also allow members of the community who may know little about racing to mix with those who do and "to build a partnership with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the community," he said.

Thursday's ball drew numerous business and community leaders along with CART representatives and drivers.

Back to the St. Petersburg Grand Prix home page
Today's lineup
  • Taking it from the top
  • Race car drivers join 300 at inaugural Grand Prix ball
  • Rain won't halt races; grooved tires help
  • 'Clean zone' riles some downtown business owners
  • Surreal helmet suits Servia fine
  • Who's on TV
  • Channel broadens appea
  • Celebrities and racing
  • Mexican contingent reveres forerunners
  • Fit, fast ... and for real
  • The best of CART
  • The drivers
  • Fittipaldi a big boost
  • At a glance
  • Groomed to be a champion
  • A chance to prove their mettle
  • Getting to the races
  • Schedule and ticket information
  • Racing mechanic got his start in St. Petersburg
  • A racing dictionary
  • Foundation is old, but is it crumbling?
  • The CART-IRL split
  • The Vanderbilt Cup
  • CART history
  • City has had false starts with racing
  • Olvey's mission of safety earns acclaim
  • 2003 Florida calendar
  • A racer's racer, and a teacher to the stars

  • Lightning
  • Vinny poses for SI
  • Lightning's success in details

  • Rays
  • Fabregas knows place on team, if he gets one
  • Colome's outing is 'tremendous'

  • Bucs
  • Christy might be first cap casualty
  • Dungy: Bucs' win 'was bittersweet'

  • Other sports

    John Romano:
  • Tyson Freak Show in full swing again

  • Golf
  • From mediocre to meteoric
  • Funk's putter prowess earns clubhouse lead
  • TPC is reason Jack's playing

  • NFL
  • Jets cut ties with ex-Bucs

  • Baseball
  • Phils get visit from Alstott
  • Angelos calls for a ban on ephedrine

  • NHL
  • Roberts helps lift Leafs over Capitals

  • College basketball
  • Wake Forest protects spot at top
  • Duke routs Heels; ACC streak at 37

  • In brief
  • Capriati rolls into semifinals at Dubai

  • TV/Radio
  • Barkley not buying into Bryant hype

  • NBA
  • Payton, Allen in major trade

  • Motorsports
  • New tracks could take race from Rockingham

  • Preps
  • Slow start leads to Bulls loss
  • Stalwart defense carries Knights
  • Hooks rescues St. Pete Catholic
  • Hustle carries Durant to win
  • Cambridge follows its lessons in blowout
  • Lakewood lets chances slip away with season
  • Gattusos lead Eagles past Sonrise
  • Marauders get a needed breather
  • Tornadoes make it look easy
  • Pasco wastes no time putting away Patriots
  • Experience down stretch lifts Rams
  • Tampa Bay Tech ends it quickly
  • Villanova lands Fabrizio

  • Outdoors
  • Krazy about kayaks
  • This time of year is better than you'd think

  • © Copyright St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.