INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (APRIL 4, 2018) – INDYCAR driver Stefan Wilson announced today that he will show his support for The Children’s TherAplay Foundation during the Indianapolis 500 by adding Children’s TherAplay logos to his No. 25 #Driven2SaveLives Andretti Autosport Honda Indy car.
Located just north of Indianapolis, Children’s TherAplay is a not-for-profit outpatient pediatric rehabilitation clinic which specializes in hippotherapy, a treatment strategy integrating the movement of horses into physical and occupational therapy sessions. Through these equine-assisted therapies, patients at Children’s TherAplay often achieve what seems to be the impossible: independently standing, sitting, walking, being able to feed themselves. Small miracles happen daily at Children’s TherAplay and have made an impact in the lives of hundreds of “kiddos” who have special needs such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorders, and genetic anomalies.
Through volunteering and also participating in the Children’s TherAplay #Horsepower500, Stefan has grown close to the Foundation and is happy to expand his connection with the Carmel, Ind. based nonprofit organization.
“I’ve spent a lot of time around Children’s TherAplay over the last couple of years, meeting the incredible staff, kids, and let us not forget the horses,” commented Wilson, who will be competing for Andretti Autosport in the Indianapolis 500. “The work they do has made such an impact on so many families. It has been nice to be able to give back and spend time there, but I wanted to do more and couldn’t be happier to raise awareness by having them ride with me on my car at Indy this year.”
The #Horsepower500, a fundraising event held annually during the month of May at Children’s TherAplay, teams up a dozen Indianapolis 500 drivers with Children’s TherAplay kiddos in a race on adaptive tricycles. The teams pedal their way up and down the Children’s TherAplay riding arena, while carrying a carrot and a photo of their therapy horse teammate, to take the checkered flag and the win. Last year’s #Horsepower500, which sold out weeks in advance, was attended by nearly 600 people. This year’s event, hosted on May 8, looks to be the biggest yet.
“So often, children with special needs don’t get to attend the sleepovers or birthday parties or special outings, and that’s so hard for them,” commented Hillary McCarley, Executive Director for Children’s TherAplay. “To have an athlete of Stefan’s caliber come here to spend time with them is just huge for these children and their families. Anyone who’s met Stefan can tell from the very first moment that this is a guy with a huge heart. Still, when he asked to include the Children’s TherAplay logo on his racecar for the entire month of May, I was absolutely speechless. For a small nonprofit, we’re talking about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. An opportunity that will, by raising awareness, allow us to help even more children with special needs. That’s truly remarkable.”
For more information on Children’s TherAplay, please visit www.childrenstheraplay.org. You can also help the kiddos and families who receive treatment at Children’s TherAplay by purchasing a #Horsepower500 ticket, volunteering, picking up one of the items on their wish list, or donating. You can follow Children’s TherAplay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as their online blog.