|Bob Tasca III with last year's contest winner, 11-year-old Libby Ledford
Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III has taken part in a very special program in each of his five years as a Professional NHRA competitor. The program reaches above and beyond the reward of competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for the established driver and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford team, and the group hopes to bring a little joy to the lives of young individuals coping with the effects of juvenile diabetes while bringing attention to an important cause created to aid in research of the disease.
The extraordinary program invites children living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to create a design for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Funny Car. Thanks to Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) and its Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands, the young artist with the winning design will be awarded a trip to the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, June 27-30, where he or she will have the opportunity to see his or her design in person and in action on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)-themed Ford Shelby Mustang.
“The designs these kids come up with are just incredible,” said Tasca, who recently participated in a T1D for a Day challenge to see what it’s like to live with T1D. “It really is an honor to help spread the word about JDRF and tell the story of what these kids live with every day. Their strength is amazing.”
While Ford Motor Company's relationship with JDRF spans three decades, Tasca, along with Motorcraft and Quick Lane Racing, came onboard with the program in 2008, his rookie season as an NHRA nitro Funny Car driver. Since then, the Our Everyday Heroes race car design contest to aid JDRF has consistently been a highlight in each season for Tasca and his team. In the first five years, the race car design contest has raised more than a quarter-million dollars for JDRF, the world's leading charitable funder of T1D research.
In addition to the honor of competing in a race car designed by a child battling T1D, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford team looks forward to the opportunity to meet the young artist at the event. Last year's contest winner, 11-year-old Libby Ledford, of Stanton, Mich., had a lot in common with Tasca; Ledford, a second-generation drag racer, competes in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League.
Every child who enters the contest raises money for JDRF by asking friends and family to vote through donations for research toward preventing, better treating, and ultimately curing T1D. Last year, Ledford raised an astounding $1,915 and was rewarded with an unforgettable experience as she joined the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team as designer of the JDRF-themed Ford Shelby Mustang.
“We have a valuable platform in our race teams, and we are happy to use it to spread awareness and raise funding for such an important cause,” said Mary Lou Quesnell, FCSD director of marketing.
“JDRF is proud to have the generous longstanding support of Ford through this incredible program,” said Margo K. Lucero, JDRF vice president of corporate development. “Every year, we look forward to seeing the creative entries by talented young people from around the country, who inspire us in our efforts to improve the lives of all people with type 1 diabetes.”
Children ages 5 through 18 living with T1D are eligible to participate. Log on to www.jdrf.org/ford to download entry forms and for official rules. Entrants will be matched to their local JDRF chapters to help in the process. Don't miss out: The deadline for submissions is May 28, 2013, at noon ET.