Jul 25, 2014 • By

A race that really matters

Professional race car driver John Andretti just hosted a week of events in Indianapolis to benefit Riley Hospital for Children, for the 18th year. I was proud to support them, along with my team based in Cincinnati.

The events – the “Kroger Race for Riley presented by Cheerios” – lead up to the weekend of the Brickyard 400. They always include a special visit to Riley Hospital for Children, a go-kart race, and a supermarket sweepstakes event at a local Kroger store.

On Friday, July 18, the Race for Riley commenced with the annual Child Life party at the hospital, filled with fun activities and special meet and greets with Andretti and General Mills equity characters BuzzBee and Trix Rabbit for the patients and their families.

On Tuesday, July 22, local celebrities, media, and sponsors – including Kroger and General Mills and other Riley supporters – made donations to race against Andretti in a competitive one mile road course go-cart track at New Castle Motorsports Park.


The event began as a rivalry between Andretti and Dave “The King” Wilson in 1997 for bragging rights and to raise money for this important institution in Indiana. Eighteen years later, the event is close to surpassing $3 million for Riley.

And in the spirit of racing, Andretti and Cheerios No. 3 driver Austin Dillon hosted a meet and greet at a Kroger store in Indianapolis (Rockville Road) with local fans, followed by a unique experience to participate in the annual Race 4 Riley Supermarket Sweepstakes.


Two shoppers, selected via a random drawing, raced around the store with a professional race car driver, filling their shopping carts with as many General Mills items as they could grab in three minutes.


No. 3 Cheerios driver Austin Dillon, left, and John Andretti, join the two entrants in the Supermarket Sweepstakes in showing their receipts!


The Kroger Fan Fest was also on-site with family activities including the Betty Crocker tire changing challenge and the No. 3 Chevrolet SS show car.


Jesse Scheer, Rene Robers and Lindsay Zadra of General Mills, present a check with John Andretti, to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

One of the easiest ways for supporters to contribute to Race for Riley is by making a $1, $3 or $5 donation at local Kroger stores. Special coupon scan cards at checkout allow shoppers to donate to Riley, and in turn receive $4 in General Mills coupons for their donation – In the month of July, more than $100,000 has already been raised!

All proceeds from the Race for Riley events go back to Riley Hospital for Children to support its fight against various illnesses in children.

Sponsoring the Race for Riley events and building relationships with the children and families from Riley Hospital allows us to truly serve in the General Mills mission of Nourishing Lives. It’s an honor to partner with Kroger to bring such strong support to the communities we serve.