On Saturday morning, while most of you are sleeping off leftover-turkey-hangovers or nursing muscles sore from combat shopping on Black Friday, I’ll be working with my fellow Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) members to make life a little bit better for some pediatric cancer patients. The event, called Rides ‘n’ Smiles, puts these kids in the passenger seat of some of the hottest production cars on the road, as we journalist types give them rides around Miami’s Homestead Speedway. Homestead Speedway is a huge supporter of the annual event, donating the track for the day to bring some joy to kids who don’t usually have a lot to smile about. At the end of the day, the kids get a picture of themselves in the car and a certificate welcoming them into the “100 Mile Per Hour Club”. I suspect us drivers will come away with a lot more than that.
The event is the brainchild of Bill Adam, an accomplished racer, member of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, 2010 Historic Sportscar Racing champion and SAMA member. Bill started the event in 2008, as a way for SAMA to give back to the local community, and he works tirelessly to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. I’ve been told I’ll be driving a Dodge Viper this year, and I promise a full write-up on the day sometime next week. Last year’s event included 13 cars, ranging from a Mazda MX-5 Miata to a ZR-1 Corvette, and this year’s third annual event is shaping up to be the largest ever, with some 100 families already signed up to participate. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather holds out for us!