FINDLAY, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2013) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., harkening to its relationship with racing's Unser family, will be involved in an upcoming fundraiser being organized by the Cody Unser First Step Foundation, a non-profit for efforts to help those afflicted with spinal-cord-related paralysis.
Cooper, which has engaged professional racer Johnny Unser as a technical consultant, is sponsoring a go-kart in the Cody Unser First Step Foundation's Oil & Water Go-Kart Challenge Fundraiser, Feb. 15 to 17, in Denver. Cody Unser, cousin of Johnny Unser and daughter of two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr., suffered spinal-cord-related paralysis since 1999 when she fell ill with Transverse Myelitis, a neurological disorder caused by spinal-cord inflammation.
She has been working since to help build awareness of TM and find a cure for spinal-cord-related paralysis.
Cooper said the foundation, in collaboration with On Target 4 Veterans, is hosting the event at the Unser Racing & Entertainment Center in Denver, a state-of-the-art indoor karting facility owned by Johnny Unser.
Cooper said the event will have five go-karts that have been modified with hand-controls, allowing anyone with limited mobility the opportunity to race. Al Unser Jr. will be racing in the Cody-Car, a go-kart branded with the foundation's logo and the same type of hand-controls Cody uses.
"It is great to be able to bring things full circle and give a little something back to our local community," Johnny Unser said. "Through my association with Cooper Tire, I am able to help kids realize their dreams with the Mazda Road to Indy program, of which Cooper Tire sponsors the USF2000 and the new Pro Mazda Championship.
"Being able to help supply these hand-controlled karts and raise money for the (foundation) is icing on the cake. I am thrilled to be part of this."