High-powered, super-fast race boats and local food banks may not seem like a natural combination, but during the first weekend in October, they are a perfect match! That’s when the world of Offshore Racing shifts its focus to Southern Maryland for the Solomons Offshore Grand Prix.
Not only will the racers be thrilling the crowds with their racing prowess that weekend, they will also help restock local food banks with much needed food supplies as part of the “Race-2-Give” Food Drive.
Jamie McCarthy has a natural spunky enthusiasm that serves her well as head cheerleader for her husband’s race team. The mother of four active children, Jamie relies on her Christian faith to help her balance the demands of her family and career with her devotion to her husband Charlie’s passion – Offshore Powerboat Racing.
The combination of these things sparked an idea one day. When thinking about the food bank sponsored by her church, McCarthy realized the awesome opportunity that existed to incorporate a food drive into the Solomons Offshore Grand Prix and tap into the goodwill generated by the race.
She approached SOGP race director, Mike Yowaiski, with her idea. Yowaiski, who grew up in Southern Maryland and still has close ties to the community, thought the idea of an SOGP sponsored food drive was great and immediately set about making it an integral part of the race event.
With the race committee’s blessing, and financial support from her husband’s company, Maryland Marine & Cycle – McCarthy was literally off to the races! She coordinated the receipt and distribution of donations through her church, Church by the Chesapeake. She also came up with the name and commissioned the design of the logo, as well as securing permission from the Calvert County School Board for flyers about the food drive to be sent home with all schoolchildren the week before the race.
As McCarthy explained, “We are just so blessed, and this seemed like such a great way to give back by helping those in our community with the most basic need, the need for food.” Race director Mike Yowaiski concurred, “We have wanted to use the exposure of the race to support a charity, and when Jamie came to us with the idea of a food drive, it just clicked. We’re very excited to be supporting the Race-2-Give Food Drive.”
There will be a special food collection booth set up in the Dry Pits area at the base of the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge during race weekend where spectators can bring donations. Everyone who donates can enter a free drawing for special SOGP gift packs which will include an official SOGP Tee-shirt, and other goodies!
The Solomons Offshore Grand Prix race committee encourages everyone who attends to bring at least one non-perishable food item to donate. Cash donations will also be accepted and will be used to purchase grocery store gift cards for perishable food items. All food and gift cards will be distributed through the Church by the Chesapeake food bank.