The partners make an inaugural visit to Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital to race toy cars with the kids.
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 22, 2022 – Starlight Children’s Foundation today announced a partnership with Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team, the only American Formula One racing team, to help deliver more of its innovative programs that bring happiness to kids in hospitals across the U.S.
Together, Haas F1 Team and Starlight will work on multiple synergies to support the charity’s agenda. At U.S. race events, personnel, including drivers and key representatives, will visit children’s hospitals in local areas, and at highlight races the team will host an exclusive program for children receiving treatment and their families to come to a race for an unforgettable experience away from the hospital. Throughout the year, children will have access to live Q&A sessions and lessons with staff, immersing themselves in the world of motorsport, with a specific focus on STEM subjects. The alliance will grow nationwide, with wider projects targeted at supporting hospitals across numerous states to be announced in due course.
To begin its collaboration, Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner and official reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi joined Adam Garone, Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO, and visited patients at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital, a longtime partner of Starlight.
“We are absolutely delighted and honored to be partnering with Haas F1 Team to bring the thrill and excitement of racing to sick kids at each of the U.S. races and to help us expand our program distribution to children’s hospitals across the country,” said Garone.
According to Garone, when a once-bright, young life becomes dulled by needles and painful medical treatments, Starlight helps kids forget about their illness and rediscover childhood happiness. The Haas F1 Team partnership will help the nonprofit deliver more of its state-of-the-art programs – like Starlight Virtual Reality, Hospital Wear, Gaming, and Toy and Book Deliveries – that entertain and distract kids, helping reduce stress and anxiety related to hospitalization.
The duo stopped by the Ryan Seacrest Studios in the hospital – a dedicated space where children can learn, play and host their own shows which are broadcast to patient’s rooms – to introduce many to the world of Formula 1 with Steiner and Fittipaldi racing the attending children at Scalextric slot cars – donated by Starlight.
“Haas F1 Team has a platform to raise awareness and highlight the incredible work of those that rely on the support of others to operate, and I feel we have a duty to do more,” noted Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas F1 Team. “I’m really proud of our partnership with Starlight and am excited about how we can help them achieve their goals across multiple areas of the charity – together, we’re committed to creating positive experiences for seriously ill children.”
“It was truly an honor to meet the children and families at Levine Children’s Hospital today,” shared Pietro Fittipaldi, official reserve driver of the Haas F1 Team. “I can only imagine how traumatic it is for a child to have to go into hospital, away from their home comforts, and after only a small amount of time playing with the kids, it’s clear that any distraction is welcomed to take their minds away from treatment. Thanks to Guenther for inviting me along to the first event of this collaboration - it’s a day that will stay with me for a very long time.”
“We are extremely grateful for community partners like Starlight Children’s Foundation and Haas F1 Team,who help bring a level of excitement and normalcy to our patients through these events,” said Carrie Keuten, events coordinator at Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital. “Events like this allow our patients to receive care beyond just medicine - they help spread joy and contribute to a holistic, personal care approach that our patients need to thrive.”
The Starlight and Haas F1 team plan to visit more hospitals in each city hosting the U.S. F1 races in the coming years to bring fun and laughter to sick kids who need it most.
To learn more about the partnership and Starlight Children’s Foundation, please visit starlight.org/ haasf1team.