Seaside Le Mans: Volunteers Make it Happen

The 18th Annual Seaside Le Mans – The Race for the Cape Cod Community – will be held on September 8, 2018, at Mashpee Commons and is free to attend! Thanks to the support of hundreds of sponsors and contributors, and an enormous number of volunteers, Seaside Le Mans has generated more than $6 million through sponsorships and matching gifts for worthy local organizations, and is a much-anticipated annual event here on Cape Cod.

“Seaside Le Mans is truly a team effort, requiring more than 150 volunteers from the community, the beneficiaries, Mashpee Commons, sponsors, and spectators that all lend a hand,” according to Kelsey Ellis, Event Director. “Before the sun rises on the day of the race, there are teams of volunteers eagerly waiting to turn a portion of Mashpee Commons into a temporary race track for the day.”

From building the track with hay bales and barricades, selling raffle tickets, monitoring the scoreboard, passing out water bottles and post-race cleanup, there is a role for everyone. Luckily, many of the same faces return year after year to lend a hand and new volunteers are always welcome. The race beneficiaries also provide volunteers at the event – both to get the word out to the thousands of spectators about the vital work they are doing in the community, and also to support race day logistics.

New this year, there will be a huge effort underway for volunteers and spectators to build 240 bikes, representing the 240 minutes of the race, that will be donated to 10 local children’s organizations at the end of the day. “We’re hoping that each person who comes out to watch the race also takes a few minutes to volunteer at the bike build,” said Ellis. “We’ll need lots of volunteers to make sure those wheels get into the hands of local kids!”

During the 4-hour main endurance race, drivers maneuver around the turns, through the straightaways and under the pedestrian bridge. Each kart team is made up of six drivers chosen by local business sponsors who take turns during the race. The race has a focus on philanthropy, camaraderie and competition. For some drivers this will be their first time out on the track. Others have been involved for many years.

Driving sponsorships are available as a full kart of six drivers ($10,000), a half kart of three drivers ($5,000) or as an individual ($2,000). Unique among fundraisers, 100 percent of sponsor dollars go directly to support the beneficiaries because The Davenport Companies underwrite the cost of the event.

At the end of this year’s race, more than $6.5 million will have been generated through sponsorships and matching gifts for more than 50 local non-profit organizations in the areas of health and human services, social services and children’s organizations since the race began in 2001. The beneficiaries are chosen by the Charitable Giving Committee. This rotating committee, made up of a dozen employees from across The Davenport Companies, keeps a pulse on the trends, needs and news in the local non-profit community and goes through a months-long process each year to choose five beneficiaries to will receive the proceeds from the race.

The 2018 beneficiaries are Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Healthcare, Cape Cod Children’s Place, Cape Cod Theatre Company Home of the Harwich Jr. Theatre and Dream Day on Cape Cod.
Seaside Le Mans is free to attend and a great way for the whole family to spend the day together.

Spectators can make a day of it at Mashpee Commons – coming for the race, food, music and kids’ activities, as well as the shops and restaurants Mashpee Commons has to offer. The opening ceremony begins just before noon, as the green flag is waved and the drivers take to the track until the 4 p.m. Awards Ceremony. Race viewing is available trackside or within the infield over the pedestrian bridge.

The Bourne/Sandwich Rotary Club, longtime friends and supporters, will be on hand selling refreshments and Cape Cod Coffee will be there keeping the drivers and spectators fueled up. There will be bouncy houses for the kids, music, live race timing to keep updated on the action, the full-day bike build, a beneficiary tent and the Cape Cod Healthcare Blood Mobile.

Volunteers are recruited all summer long and even more are needed to join the ‘Pit Crew’ team this year. Information is on the volunteer section of seasidelemans.org, and with the new added element this year – the volunteer bike build – it’s the perfect time to become a Seaside Le Mans volunteer!

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.



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