17th Annual Seaside Le Mans Promises Free Family Fun for the Community

On Saturday September 9th, Mashpee Commons will be transformed into a race track for the 17th Annual Seaside Le Mans. Over the years, this free, family-friendly event has grown in popularity and raised millions of dollars for the Cape Cod community.

Seaside Le Mans is made possible by the folks at The Davenport Companies, based in South Yarmouth. Company C.E.O. DeWitt Davenport developed the idea for Seaside Le Mans following a corporate team-building exercise at the F1 Boston indoor kart racing facility in Braintree. Participants had such a good time at the meetings that it was decided an outdoor kart race would be a fun and unique approach to fundraising on Cape Cod. The entire cost of the event is underwritten by The Davenport Companies which means all of the funds raised through sponsorships go directly to the designated beneficiaries.

Since 2001, the Seaside Le Mans race has raised over $6 million through sponsorships and matching funds. This year, the beneficiaries of those funds will be Cape Cod Healthcare, the Lower Cape Outreach Council, Cape Cod and Islands Major Crisis Relief Fund, Special Olympics Massachusetts and Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary.

Judy Walden Scarafile of the Cape and Islands Major Crisis Relief Fund was honored that her organization was named a beneficiary to this year’s race. “When you are a beneficiary, named to be a recipient of the funding from this phenomenal event, it really makes the community stand up and take notice, and it makes people realize how much faith there is in your program,” said Scarafile.

It’s an event that really brings the entire community together. For the past 17 years, not just the participants have grown in number but the spectators too. The event is free to the public who arrive in droves to see representatives from local businesses take on the challenging course during the 4-hour endurance race. The ¼-mile track passes shops and restaurants in Mashpee Commons and circles around a large parking area, with a pedestrian bridge allowing spectators onto the infield as the teams race under the bridge.

The infield is filled with tents for each race team, where the drivers along with family and friends gather throughout the day. There are activities for the kids including free bouncy houses, tents where the race beneficiaries are represented, a “Pit Stop Shop” merchandise area, music and delicious grilled foods provided by the Bourne/Sandwich Rotary Club who generously donate proceeds back to the race.

All of the karts are owned byF1 Boston who also provide protective race suits, neck braces, and helmets. F1, which has permanent track locations in Braintree and East Bridgewater, professionally manages the race and monitors the high-tech computerized scoring system, tracking each kart and team down to the hundredths of a second.Racers and spectators can follow all the action throughout the day on the “Race Monitor” app (a free app available on Apple and Android devices), allowing racers, spectators and fans across the country to view the leaderboard, check on lap times and track live results.

The real goal is to raise money for the deserving organizations, but the race has been known to bring out some friendly competition among the participants regardless of their experience level. Shane Coughlin is the Chief Operating Officer at the Chatham Wayside Inn. This year will be his third year driving in the Seaside Le Mans. I had never driven a kart or raced at all before the Seaside Le Mans. It was a lot more fun and exciting than I had expected,” said Coughlin. He’s taken to racing like a pro! Last year, Coughlin and his teammates were the recipients of the Sportsmanship award and he is eagerly anticipating this year’s race. “It was great to have the team recognized with the award last year – it gave everyone a sense of accomplishment. I’m looking forward to spending the day with the other drivers I’ve gotten to know,” said Coughlin.

It’s an amazing day of community involvement which sees businesses and organizations across the Cape taking part in one of the biggest fundraisers of the year. The Davenport Companies have created a worthwhile event that’s incredibly fun and free for the public. “From the beginning, the whole focus of this event has been on bringing the community together to support Cape Cod,” said DeWitt Davenport, CEO of The Davenport Companies. “We truly feel the success of this event is a combined effort of the entire community, everyone from our business sponsors and countless volunteers to the local chambers of commerce and town officials.”

Find out more at seasidelemans.org and make plans to join us at the 17th Annual Seaside Le Mans on September 9th at Mashpee Commons!

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