By Brenda L. Holmes
SPEEDWAY — The Indy Family Foundation (IFF) presented its inaugural Festival on Main at the newly redeveloped Main Street in Speedway.
The event was designed to raise funds for the 501C3 which helps the motorsports community, regardless of sanctioning body, who find themselves in financial need due to illness, injury, or death.
Heather Carpenter, wife of IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter, is one of the many volunteers who help raise funds for IFF.
“This is the first year for this event,” Carpenter said. “I wish the rain would stop but we are making the best of it.”
She said the mission of the foundation can range from helping a family pay their utility bills to keeping them out of bankruptcy.
“We help anyone who has been credentialed with any racing body – from Go Carts to IndyCar, Carpenter said. “We can help them with expenses.”
“It’s great to see all these people out here,” she said. “And everyone has been so good to help out – especially the Town of Speedway and the fire department.”
She said the community jumped on board to help with the new event. They also wanted to bring people out to see what’s new on Main Street as well as supporting the cause.
“For the most part people donated their services for tonight,” Carpenter said. “Everything from the zip line to all the beer and food trucks, people just came together.”
Carpenter and IFF worked closely with the Speedway Chamber of Commerce. Connie Harris, a representative from the chamber, said working with the organization was a very positive experience.
“They have been wonderful to work with,” Harris said. “This is great for Speedway. We will be having an event here May 24 after Carb Day but that will be mostly music. It will be on Main Street as well but further down closer to 16th Street.”
Julie LaFore, manager at Lino’s Coffee inside the Dallara Experience, said this event was great to show the community what they have to offer.
“A lot of people don’t know we are here year-round,” LaFore said. “We have pizza, pasta, salads, and of course coffee. We also have credo which is a slushy drink, gelato, and a line of wine and spirits.”
She said her staff was super excited to get more exposure for the restaurant and other local businesses.
“We’ve been here for about a year and Sara Fisher just opened up,” LaFore said. “It’s great to see if full in here. And so nice for people to come down and see the redeveloped area. The racing community has been super. We have a real sense of community.”
IFF will host more events this year to raise funds for the non-profit.
“We also do the Jeans and Jewels event and on May 23 we are hosting the Fashion in the Fast Lane,” Carpenter said.
Fashion in the Fast Lane will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at The East Chalet at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The attire is casually chic. Tickets are $75 a person or can be purchased in tables. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the website at www.indyfamilyfoundation.com and click on events.