Left to right: Patrick Lawrence – Steele Mazda, Todd Thomander – Mazda CANADA, Keely Wallace – IWK Foundation, and Jason Thorpe – IWK Foundation.

DARTMOUTH, NS – Organizers for Heart of a Champion (HOAC) with support from Steele Mazda is excited to announce a new partnership with the IWK Foundation. The affiliation will see HOAC and Steele Mazda fundraise and create awareness for the Foundation starting with a ‘Milk’N’Cookies’ campaign this December. The initiative is part of HOAC’s ongoing commitment to give back to the community through its dedication to helping preserve Maritime Canada’s motorsports history.

“Steele Mazda is proud to support Heart of a Champion in their endeavors, while raising awareness for the IWK Foundation,” said Patrick Lawrence, General Manager for Steele Mazda. “Our ‘Family Matters’ culture at the dealership aligns seamlessly with HOAC and the IWK Foundation. It’s simple: family really does matter and when families have sick children, they and the kids get through those times with the heart of a champion.”

The connection between the groups began this past July when HOAC hosted the annual IWK 250 Toys For Kids collection center at Riverside International Speedway resulting in a truckload of toys, gift cards, and cash donations being delivered to the IWK Health Care Centre. HOAC plans to continue the Toy Drive initiative under the IWK 250 banner in 2020 as well as adding more static and ongoing fundraisers for the IWK Foundation.

“The IWK would not be the incredible resource that it is for Maritime women and children without the generous support of community programs like Heart of a Champion and the support of Steele Mazda,” said Keely Wallace, Manager, Community & Corporate Giving, IWK Foundation. “I want to thank everyone involved with Heart of a Champion for investing in the best outcomes for patients who rely on the IWK.”

“We’re excited to be part of HOAC’s fundraising initiatives,” continued Lawrence, ” including the IWK 250 Toy Drive this past July and the soon-to-be-launched Milk ‘n’ Cookies December fundraiser.”

HOAC will help create awareness for the IWK Foundation through a new robust website to debut in November, social media, promotional materials, and at events planned for 2020 which will include the Hot Rod Classics Vintage Race Car Series. Details for the new series will be announced in November.

Fans are encouraged to subscribe to the HOAC newsletter to have special offers and advance notice of news and events delivered straight to them by email. Visit www.heartofachamp.ca to sign up.

Heart of a Champion was founded in 2017 to help preserve stock car racing history in the Maritime provinces. Organizers used a 1967 vintage stock car they had restored to rekindle memories with veteran fans and to educate new fans, showing the car at motorsports events throughout the Maritimes. At the same time, they launched an online presence with a website and Facebook page, using it to share vintage racing photos, stories, and a weekly ‘Saturday Salute’ to someone who has helped build racing in our region – someone with the Heart of a Champion.

In 2018 they acquired a vintage open wheel modified race car. In 2019 they used it to garner interest in the potential for a vintage race car series in the region and in July announced their intent to form the HOAC Hot Rod Classics Vintage Race Car Series, to debut in 2020. The series will showcase race cars from 1980 or older giving veteran fans an opportunity to relive memories and at the same time provide a platform where newer fans can experience race cars of a bygone era.

In less than two years, HOAC’s social media following has flourished to over 6,000, clearly demonstrating an interest in and passion for Maritime motorsports heritage.

About Steele Mazda

Steele Mazda is a full-service new and used Mazda dealership located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Their sales team is eager to discuss your driving needs, wants, and budget. They will happily guide you through the buying process with sleek and affordable options for your new or previously owned vehicle, from the test drive to the loan approval process. The Steele Mazda service department welcomes customers from throughout HRM, keeping your ride healthy by handling oil changes, tire rotations, and any other repair or maintenance work you may require. Steele Mazda prides itself with its exceptional customer service; test drive us today! For more information, please call 902-462-6600, stop by our store at 15 Lansing Drive in Dartmouth or visit www.steelemazda.ca.

About the IWK Foundation
The IWK Foundation is a champion of excellence in women’s and children’s health and medicine and works in partnership with the IWK Health Centre to support their vision of providing quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritime Provinces and beyond. Our donors are passionately committed to making a difference for Maritime families, contributing more than $15 million in support of the most urgent care priorities at the IWK last year. Funds raised also support the IWK’s global leadership in research and knowledge sharing, which in turn improves lives worldwide. For more information, visit www.iwkfoundation.org.

About Heart of a Champion

Heart of a Champion is dedicated to preserving Maritime motorsports history by rekindling memories for veteran fans and educating new fans about the people and events that have helped shape motorsports in the region. To accomplish this, they use static and interactive mediums and in 2020 will launch the region’s first-ever vintage race car series, the Hot Rod Classics. To learn more please visit www.heartofa champ.ca.