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Why Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit?

hospitalApproximately one out of every 100 children is born with some type of heart condition.  Seattle Children’s Hospital is a leader is advanced treatment for infants with heart problems and is pioneering non-invasive heart surgery that reduces trauma and speeds recovery.  Our goal is to provide funds for increasing the hospital’s ability to meet the critical needs of these young patients.

Seattle Children’s mission is to serve the Pacific Northwest’s children with the best medical care for every child who needs it. No child is ever denied care at Children’s regardless of their inability to pay. The hospital is linked with the University of Washington medical school and serves as the pediatric referral center for health care providers throughout Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

The first hospital had only 12 beds. Today’s Children’s has 250 beds, a state of the art ICU and CICU, therapy facilities, and a nationally respected clinical research department.  Regardless of size, the mission is still the same: to help children in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

What is the money used for?

Your donation goes directly to the Team Seattle Endowment for Excellence in Cardiac Intensive Care at Children’s Hospital. This endowment supports clinical and research activities for Children’s Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect among U.S. infants and yet very few heart centers around the world have a dedicated CICU. Children’s cardiac program, including the CICU, is unmatched in offering the latest in life-saving equipment, a world-renowned medical staff and a family-centered care approach.

In 1997, 1998 and 1999, Team Seattle has contributed more than $500,000.00 to Children’s uncompensated care fund.  In 2000, Team Seattle contributed an additional $226,000.00 toward the Cardiac Research Endowment. In 2001-2004 another $700,000.00 was added to the endowment. In 2005-2009, Team Seattle contributed $1.4 million dollars to the new Team Seattle Endowment for Excellence in Cardiac Intensive Care. In 2010, Team Seattle partnered with JG Sport and Dempsey Racing to compete in the full 2010 Grand-Am season and raise money throughout the year. At the end of the year, the team had raised a record $540,000. Since it was formed in 1997, Team Seattle’s fundraising efforts have exceeded $3.9 million dollars!

The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital is named after Kami Renee Sutton, an inspiring heart patient and racing enthusiast who has participated in the team’s efforts since the beginning.

How does Team Seattle’s fundraising endowment benefit other Children’s Hospitals?

Income from the Team Seattle Endowment goes directly to support cardiac research, education and training at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. That support helps other children’s hospitals across the U.S. indirectly in a number of ways:

Many of the past medical students, residents and fellows who were trained in the Heart Center are now teaching in other pediatric hospitals and academic medical centers, thus spreading the excellent research and clinical practice developed at Seattle Children’s.

All of the cardiac research conducted at Seattle Children’s is in the public domain. Researchers publish in the best known medical journals and present at national and international conferences on a regular basis.  Many of the hospital’s cardiac patients are included in clinical trials that are part of national and international studies.

What is a matching gift and how does it work?

Many companies offer matching gift funds.  For example, if an employee donates $100 to a charity, the company will “match” that donation.  The end result is that the employee’s $100 donation becomes a $200 donation.  The employee is free to choose any nonprofit charity, such as the Team Seattle Guild at Seattle Children’s Hospital. If you work for a matching company, all you need to do is submit a signed matching gift form to your company, or tell us on your donation form and we will submit it to the company in order to receive the matching funds. If you need more information on matching programs please let us know at

What is the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona?

The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is the most famous sports car endurance race in America.  It is held every January at Daytona International Speedway in Florida and always at the end of the month each year. While many people think of Daytona as a NASCAR race track, it also contains a road racing track in the infield.  The cars use both the infield track and a portion of the huge high-banked oval track.  Eighty purpose-built and production-based race cars from all over the world take part in three different classes.  The cars include the Daytona Protypes, which are build just for this kind of racing.  Other more familiar cars entered are race prepared cars from Porsche, Corvette, Mustang, Camaro, Mazda, BMW, and Ferrari.

Is the race on television?

The majority of the race is televised on The Speed Channel. If you want to see a sample of the coverage you can view an interview from the 2009 running of the 24 Hours of Lemans by visiting the Team Seattle YouTube channel.

Who is Dempsey Racing?

Dempsey Racing is a team formed by actor Patrick Dempsey and his racing partner Joe Foster to compete in the Grand Am Championship series.  The 24 Hours of Daytona is the first race of the Grand Am season.  In 2009, Patrick and Joe joined Team Seattle founder Don Kitch Jr. to race in the biggest endurance race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  For more on Dempsey Racing you can visit their web site at

What is the weather like in Daytona for the race?

It varies! During the day, the temperature can climb into the 70s and higher, though extremely high temperatures are unusual for January. At night the temperature often drops into the 30s. And you always have to be prepared for rain.  If you are packing for the race – be prepared!

How often does the car pit?

Drivers pit primarily for more fuel.  In a typical race a Team Seattle car will complete 45-50 laps on a tank of fuel.  If necessary, the tires will be replaced during a pit stop after the car has been refueled. Typically, the right rear tire is replaced at each stop, since it endures the most wear around the banking, while the remaining tires are changed every other pit stop. Drivers communicate with the pit crew via a two-way radio in the car.

What if the car breaks down?

The crew may work on the car in the pit lane, or may ask the officials for permission to work on the car in the paddock. If the car breaks down on the track, only the driver may work on it, though the team may bring tools and offer advice.

Have a question that you’d like answered?  Ask us at