2. Survivors/Warriors Race Outing: We will have 10 VIPs at the track that weekend for a fun day and an opportunity to network and share their stories. These VIPs are men who have been touched by Prostate Cancer. This will be our platform for a program we hope to implement at each race next season.
Background: Johan Schwartz Racing is a team effort for Johan and me at home, at the race track, and running our business interests. We have two very active children, Johan (11) and Alden (7) who love soccer, swimming and tennis. Together we ran our own business, Endurance Karting, for 12 years, an arrive and drive format using karts for schools, endurance races, charity events and corporate team building events. In 2013, we sold our business to pursue other opportunities, one of which was to focus on Johan’s personal racing, road racing to be exact.
Last October, we decided to dedicate our time to developing the necessary sponsorship and marketing to put Johan in a car for a full race season and selected the road racing series Pirelli World Challenge. Going into this project, we knew Johan would have a good shot at the championship, but most certainly podium finishes. We determined it would be best to share our successes for a great cause.
Cancer: My family has a deep and long history with cancer.My grandmother died at 45 from cancer
(She had two different kinds.), one of her sisters died at 42 leaving two young children, and 6 out of 8
of her other siblings also had various forms of cancer in their lieftime. In 1979, my family became part
gene in 1990. My family, a large and extended one with 10 Tomkins children at my grandmother’s
generation, has continued in the study. Many of my father’s generation and their children carry the cancer
gene. My father does not; therefore, I am not a carrier. Not being a carrier has only fueled my desire to
serve the cancer community, as so many members of my family carry a burden of being a genetic carrier.
Cancer and Racing: Now the part of the story where racing and Prostate Cancer come together: Both Johan’s and my mothers are cancer survivors (breast and uterine cancer, respectively), so cancer has hit close to home. Johan and I both have marketing and business backgrounds that spans beyond our go-kart business; Johan has an MBA and worked for Fidelity and Mullen Advertising, and I worked in telecom, pharmaceuticals and HR.
About four years ago while driving home, we passed a pink backhoe on display for Breast Cancer Awareness. Pink was also making its way onto several NASCAR cars at this time. In that moment, I asked aloud, “Why isn’t anyone doing this for men? Does Prostate Cancer have a color and ribbon?” I said to Johan, “When we are able to get you in a race car full time, we are going to promote men’s health.” Immediately upon returning home, I discovered Prostate Cancer has a light blue ribbon.
2015 Racing Season: Fast forward to last October. The time is finally here to put Johan in a car for the full
season, and we have made Prostate Cancer Awareness: Early Detection + Education = Best Outcome our cause
and campaign. My research led me to the non-profit ZERO Cancer: The End of Prostate Cancer. We reached
out and established a partnership to bring awareness to the racing community. We looked to our immediate
network for sponsorship with the goal of making this season about Prostate Cancer Awareness our top priority.
Our network was enthused; however, we had missed most budget deadlines, so we knew we were likely going
to come up short in funding the car. That did not deter us because this was too important. John McAleer with
CAS Group believed in us and our cause and became a gold level sponsor. Smaller sponsors have also helped get
us this far in the season, including Custom DieCasts, Eventville, Celestial Products and TechSport Racing.
In the middle of pulling all of this together and just days before Christmas, my Uncle Dennis announced he had been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. It has hit close to home for sure. My uncle, a BRCA II gene carrier, has regular checkups, and still here he is, a battle ahead of him. I am only further fueled. We have to get the word out there. We have to make a difference.
RaceSeason Report - Heading to Finales: The season is now half way completed – we have five
event weekends behind us, a total of 15 races and Johan's record is:
11 1st place finishes/points for first place
1 2nd place finish
1 3rd place finish
numerous fastest lap of the race honors, most laps led and other special awards
These have been wins not only for Johan, but also for Prostate Cancer Awareness and ZEROCancer.org,
as we have worked hard and gotten great coverage with the commentators during live streaming of the races and the one- hour highlight show on CBS Sports one week after each event weekend. There have been successes, and as of now, the beginning of August, Johan leads the championship standings by one point. We plan to finish the season strong. See details about race resutls.
Our final three races are coming up at Laguna Seca, September 11th -14th and we are excited that the season finale
is the weekend prior to National Prostate Cancer Awareness week. We have the opportunity to make a splash and
plan to do just that!
Goals in Making a Difference for Prostate Cancer Awareness: When we first started this project, our goal was to get the
message accross on the race car. As each day continued in putting the program together and we learned more and more facts about
Prostate Cancer, it became clear - it simply wasn't enough The opportunity is in front of us to help make an impact for the men and
families of today, for our childrens generation, and generations to come. We know this is only a start to what we can and will do bringing
the message of Prostate Cancer Awareness and Early Deterction front and center.
Champions: Battled hard and have passed on
Surivors: Beat Prostate Cancer
Warriors: Currently undergoing treatment
A special thank you to those who have helped me in the past and those who are helping now - running a full season for the championship in a professional level series has always been a dream of mine. It is an honor to not only go after my dream, but turn it into a way to give back in the form of Men's Health - Prostate Cancer Awareness.
Final races @ Laguna Seca, CA
September 11th - 14th
This happens to be the weekend prior to National
Prostate Cancer Awareness week. As we are in the running for the Championship and have a good shot at winning, we are excited to use the exposure to highlight Prostate Cancer awareness and National Awareness week.
1. Blue Ribbon Campaign: Prostate Cancer is recognized by a light blue ribbon. Not enough people know this, and we plan to change this during our Laguna Seca race weekend in a big way.
We need your help to finish our season and make our biggest impact on Prostate Cancer Awareness yet: Our goal is to reach out to our
network to help us finish the season, implement two
specific Prostate Cancer Awareness programs, while
also doing something unique on the race car in
recognition of all the men affected by prostate cancer
and their families.
We are running a campaign in which 100% of the
monies raised will be used to help cover our expenses
for the final three races of the season (race entry, race
car rental, etc) and implement two special Prostate
CancerAwareness programs (details below).
No monies will be used for persoanl expenses.
Click on ZERO for comprehensive information from diagnosis, to treatment, to recovery. Check out upcoming locations for Run/Walks.