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MIT 2011: Thank You!

June 2, 2011

The second annual MIT is officially over, and I think I may have recovered by now. Maybe.

Last Thursday, May 26, was a truly epic day of race fandom, and we have so many people to thank who helped make it all possible!

First and foremost, a big, huge, giant THANK YOU to all of the attendees of each event! Seeing all of the “tweeps” again at each tweetup really does feel like a family reunion of sorts, and it was so exciting to see the response to the inaugural #Beatcancer Bash by everyone who was there, too. Giving people a fun day filled with all kinds of racing-related experiences is the goal, but seeing everyone’s reactions to everything is truly the reason for doing all of this. The thank yous, smiles, and positive comments really do make every hour spent in planning and every mini-crisis to get through completely and 100% worth it. So thank YOU!

To the wonderful people at the Racing Capital of the World, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for helping us put on a great morning event there. This is certainly not our first time at the IMS, and it won’t be our last, but every tweetup we are so glad to have the involvement of the IMS and IndyCar!
Special thanks to Julie Dolak, new media pro, who worked hard amidst a bajillion other important centennial era projects to help us put on the IMS event. Also to Daniel Incandela for his continued support and assistance. We were thrilled to have a suite in Legends’ Row, participate in the iRacing simulators, as well as be welcomed so warmly by the staff at the Hall of Fame Museum who made sure our special Q&A session went perfectly.

A BIG thank you to our karting grand prix’s title sponsor, Fanimation, who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past three Indy Tweetups. Aside from creating amazing fans, this company also recognizes the importance of social media and community involvement. Since supporting our Tweetups, they’ve seen a measurable impact on their business and have even sold fans to several IndyCar drivers. Fanimation president Nathan Frampton even came to all three of the MIT events last week, and donated three cool (get it? ha.) Fargo fans for the FGP podium winners!

Thank you once again to Fastimes Indoor Karting, Indy’s only 2-story indoor karting venue, a great place we’ve been going to since the very first Winter Indy Tweetup. Mike West, our main contact and the emcee of each event, and the entire staff there has always been great to work with, and we can’t wait to go back for WIT 2011.

Thank You to all of the teams, drivers, and companies who helped us promote the event and donated some amazing items as MIT giveaways and #Beatcancer Bash auction items, including:

  • Just Pop In! – IndyCar sponsor and creator of DELICIOUS gourmet popcorn, who helped us promote the event, host a contest online, and gave us tons of favor bags for the Bash.
  • Sunoco – who helped “fuel our victory” by brainstorming ways to get involved with MIT, sent some great giveaway items, and donated a really cool gift basket for the #Beatcancer Bash silent auction
  • Honda Performance Development – who actually sought us out and wanted to get involved in the MIT! They donated tons of great giveaways, and a signed lithograph for the #Beatcancer Bash
  • TrackPack Coolers – if you’ve spent any time at the IMS, you know these awesome little pieces of cooler-engineering genius. We were thrilled to have a special centennial edition cooler to give away at the MIT!
  • HVM Racing – for their awesome donations, bringing their star driver by the IMS and #Beatcancer Bash, and for having a really, really awesome PR professional.
  • Andretti Autosport – for all of their donations, promotions, and Support (with a capital S!) of the May Indy Tweetup and especially the #Beatcancer Bash. We could not have done it without them!
  • Mitch Doner – an awesome tweep and friend, who donated an amazing collection of signed driver hero cards to give away at the MIT

There were SO many teams, drivers, companies, and individuals who donated items and financial support to the #Beatcancer Bash that I can’t even name them all, but Racing For Cancer would be a great place to go to get the full list of truly epic thank yous!

It was the very first year for the #Beatcancer Bash, and the first time May Indy Tweetup ever worked with another entity in creating a fundraising event! Needless to say, we learned a LOT. But, once May 26 rolled around, it seemed that everyone was having a lot of fun and that we were successful in raising money to support those fighting against cancer. And that’s what’s most important!

Thanks to Tom Vossman from Racing For Cancer, who we met early this year when he approached us about helping out with the #Beatcancer Bash. All I can say, Tom, is: we made it! Alive! 🙂

Thank you to the Little Red Door Cancer Agency, the local beneficiary of some of the funds raised at the #Beatcancer Bash, for your support and for sending over such wonderful, helpful volunteers to assist with the Bash!
Also to the 500 Festival princesses who came by to help at the registration table. It was nice to have some royalty there!

Thank you very much to #Beatcancer Bash title sponsor IZOD, as well as additional sponsors OraCal (who also made the cool signs and centerpiece circles!), GoDaddy, and ExactTarget.

And a big thank you to OneAmerica for sponsorship and for allowing us to use their great event space in the heart of downtown Indy, as well as to Sahm’s Catering for their delicious food and friendly, helpful staff!

Huge thanks to the drivers and special guests who took the time out of their busy race week schedules to come hang out with us. Fans definitely take notice!!:

  • Zach Veach – USF2000 driver who came to the IMS event, as well as the #Beatcancer Bash. He also attended pressdog’s quals weekend mini-Tweetup! Maybe we’ll see him back for WIT?
  • Sage Karam – Star Mazda Championship driver who also came to both the IMS and #Beatcancer Bash to chat with fans.
  • Spencer Pigot – USF2000 driver who also came to the #Beatcancer Bash to hang out with fans.
  • Ed Carpenter – for stopping by the IMS event and checking out iRacing with his wife Heather and adorable son.
  • James Hinchcliffe – stopped by our suite at the IMS with…
  • Simona de Silvestro – …to sign autographs, get pictures, and talk with everyone!
  • Bobby Unser – for coming by the Museum for a special Q&A session with MIT attendees and a photo op with one of his Indy 500 winning cars
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay and his fiancee Beccy Gordon – Racing For Cancer’s driver ambassador was truly wonderful in his promotion and support of so many different aspects of the #Beatcancer Bash! He and Beccy are such great people.
  • Tony Kanaan – for stopping by the #Beatcancer Bash and for his continued support of Racing for Cancer
  • Martin Plowman – a welcome special guest at the #Beatcancer Bash, who has also attended many of our Tweetups in the past!
  • Pippa Mann – for also taking the time to stop by the Bash and support the Racing For Cancer cause
  • The Firestone Firehawk – this guy brought his awesome personality and thumbs-up to the #Beatcancer Bash, and we were glad to have him!
  • Cameron Haven, the IZOD “Trophy Girl” – for coming by and supporting the #Beatcancer Bash, both in person and on Twitter. Such a nice person!

And last, but certainly not least, I personally would like to thank John Wertz. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, without him, the entire event might not have happened at all. From brainstorming ideas to designing flyers to tweeting about the events to running all over the place to pick up items to the (sometimes much needed!) emotional support and SO much more…he went way beyond the extra mile to help make the event a success, and deserves so much credit. He’s not just my fiance, he has truly become a third member of the May Indy Tweetup team. I can’t thank him enough!!

OK, whew! That was a lot like Bryan Herta & Dan Wheldon’s speeches at the Victory Banquet. 😉

Please remember, it’s YOUR support – of us and our sponsors and partners – that makes Winter and May Indy Tweetups so fun. So please tweet about it, talk about it, invite your friends and family, and let us know what you’d like to see for the future!

Hope to see you at the Winter Indy Tweetup!

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