Not long ago we came across an organization that’s been doing some good work on behalf of racing.
Founded by drag racer Joe Bilancio (Division 2, Super Comp-SC2052) and based in West Palm Beach, Florida, the nonprofit American Youth Motorsports Team (AYMT) provides seminars and outreach for kids on motorsports safety, career opportunities, drug and alcohol prevention, and more.
Over the years its all-volunteer staff has visited youth groups, schools and critical care children’s hospitals throughout the Southeast.
Seminars usually last at least two hours, and after some education, kids are allowed to test out an actual junior dragster and pro go-kart, as well as simulators, helmets, jackets, gloves and collars; AYMT also hands out goody bags with hats, T-shirts and stickers.
“[AYMT’s] program provides time for our patients to escape their illnesses and enrich their lives,” wrote Dr. Robert Pettignano in a 2010 letter on behalf of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding.
“The children have been able to see and sit in miniature racing cars, giving them a taste of the thrill of racing all while hearing about safe participation in motorsports. I have seen patients who were suffering from the effects of an illness have an immediate positive change in personality all as the result of the enjoyment, laughter and diversion this organization has brought to our hospital.”
In addition, AYMT volunteers make regular appearances at car shows and fund-raisers, and the Team’s super comp dragster competes in different series, including Lucas Oil and NHRA events throughout the region.
For more information or to help support the AYMT, call 772/285-7208 or visit www.aymt.org.