|Acadie-Bathurst Titan||Baie-Comeau Drakkar|
|Blainville-Boisbriand Armada||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|Charlottetown Islanders||Chicoutimi Sagueneens|
|Drummondville Voltigeurs||Gatineau Olympiques|
|Halifax Mooseheads||Moncton Wildcats|
|Quebec Remparts||Rimouski Oceanic|
|Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||Saint John Sea Dogs|
|Shawinigan Cataractes||Sherbrooke Phoenix|
|Val-d'Or Foreurs||Victoriaville Tigres|
|Brandon Wheat Kings|
|Edmonton Oil Kings|
|Medicine Hat Tigers|
|Moose Jaw Warriors|
|Prince Albert Raiders|
|Red Deer Rebels|
|Swift Current Broncos|
|Prince George Cougars|
July 08, 2012
Honda Racing and Honda Indy car driver Graham Rahal hosted Rangers' alumnus David Clarkson of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils Saturday at the Honda Indy Toronto. Honda is the official vehicle of the National Hockey League, and Rahal is an avid professional hockey fan.
The two celebrity athletes met to promote awareness of their individual foundations, the Kitchener Rangers’ “Clarky’s Kids,” and the Graham Rahal Foundation. Both charities raise funds to help chronically ill children and their families. David Clarkson plays for the New Jersey Devils, who finished the 2011-12 season as Stanley Cup finalists. The Clarkson family joined Rahal at the track to watch practice laps from pit lane, after which the two athletes had an opportunity to discuss their sports and their charities.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Clarkson of his day at the track. “Graham … everyone here … they have been so nice, they’re all so down-to-earth. And Honda has been outstanding to me and my family. It was a great day.”
While playing with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League from 2002 -2005, David spent countless hours supporting local community programs. He remains a fixture in ‘Rangers Nation’ and the Waterloo Region through “Clarky's Kids.” The program, which Clarkson started in partnership with the Rangers, provides children from Grand River Hospital's POGO (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario) Satellite Centre the opportunity to experience the excitement of a Kitchener Rangers game from the “Clarky's Kids” suite, and visit with players and coaches, in and out of the hospital. Additionally, the program raises funds that aid in the support of local families dealing with children that have cancer. All monetary donations directly benefit the Pediatric Oncology Clinic at Grand River Hospital, as well as the Pediatric Oncology Financial Assistance Program (POFAP).
Honda Racing’s Graham Rahal competes in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Ganassi Racing in the #38 Service Central Honda Dallara. The Ohio native grew up attending races with his father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, and ultimately embarked on a racing career of his own. Graham’s victory in his 2008 IndyCar Series debut at St. Petersburg, Fla. made him the youngest race winner in IndyCar Series history.
A longtime fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Rahal said he was happy to host Clarkson as his guest at the Honda Indy Toronto. Not only do the athletes share a passion for their charitable endeavors and helping children, but Rahal also demonstrated an enthusiasm for hockey.
“It’s a sport that I really love,” explained Rahal. “Once our [racing] season ends in September, I’ll be looking forward to getting to some games.
“I don’t think it really matters where you go, it’s always fun.”
The Graham Rahal Foundation is dedicated to helping children with serious medical conditions, a cause that was significantly important to Graham’s former race-team owner and friend, the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. Through various fundraising events and activities, the foundation helps both Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer and SeriousFun Children’s Network, community camps that create opportunities for children and their families to reach beyond serious illness and discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities – always free of charge.
The Honda Indy Toronto takes place on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place, adjacent to Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. Rahal and the #38 Service Central Honda Dallara entered this weekend ranked 10th in series points and qualified 12th for Sunday’s race.