An All-Star Go-Kart Race To The Finish, Benefiting The American Diabetes Association

Over the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, I had the chance to cover a very special event out in the Los Angeles area.  On May 28th, at the K1 Speed Indoor Racing facility in Gardena, California, I was able to witness the Celebrity Go-Kart Tournament, which brought forth a number of stars helping to produce awareness and show their support for the American Diabetes Association.  Many stars, both young and adult, along with their families, were willing to come out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and race for awareness, while also have a fun time for the sake of a good, charitable cause.

Regardless of which stars would be present, it seems like an opportunity like this was not one I should have passed up.  These kinds of events only seem to imply fun, as they are all about supporting a good cause, while also getting the chance to enjoy a fun activity.  In the case of this event, I really wanted to see stars race around in go-karts, while having a fun time, and that is exactly what I got to see and do.  Along with the support of several celebrities providing fun commentary during the race, a few musical performances on the stage next to the track, and some other guest appearances, having a group of young stars, lead by an older celeb heading up each go-kart team was a whole lot of fun.

Stars at the event included Alfonso Ribeiro (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Steve-O (Jackass), Justin “JC” Jones (Glee), Verne Troyer (Austin Powers), Nike Pro-Skater Danny Supa, Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck), Christopher Daniels (TNA Wrestling, ROH), Thomas DeCoud from the Atlanta Falcons, Dorian Gregory (Charmed), Darren Sharper from the New Orleans Saints, Gary Sturgis (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Miss California International – Brittany Wagner, recording artist Mann, and NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson.  Many younger stars were present as well, as they were the most willing participants in the actual go-karting.  These younger stars included Kyle Massey, Christopher Massey, Jared Kusnitz, Danika Yarosh, Zach Callison, Austin Anderson, Dan Benson, Kenton Duty, and Jordan Monaghan.  Honestly, there were so many young stars present that I just gave up on listing their credits.  The list of people I have presented here only makes up about a third of the stars present at this very fun tournament event.

Once the red carpet cleared out and the event finally started to get underway, audiences were treated to a number of the celebrities making announcements about all of the participating charities and organizations that they were at the event supporting, along with a general dose of entertainment, as everyone was around to have a good time.  Following these announcements was a performance by the R&B duo Mona Lisa, who have toured with artists such as Beyonce and look to be on the verge of breaking out.  After this performance, the race finally began, as actor Verne Troyer took the stage as the official starter for the tournament.  As he declared racers to start their (go-kart) engines, members of the various go-kart teams were ready to do their best at racing around the track in record times.  It was in fact the times taken for each lap that would determine how well their charity would benefit from a grand prize at the end of the tournament.  As each team began to race, the tournament would continue to be hosted by Eric Dickerson and actor Gary Sturgis, who would be providing commentary throughout.

Of course, the most important aspect of this whole event was the cause that everyone was here in support of, which was to benefit the American Diabetes Association.  The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading nonprofit charity providing diabetes research, information and advocacy.  Various non-profit organizations and health facilities were willing to reach out and show their support and involvement with the tournament as well, including the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, St. Jude’s Research Center, City of Hope Centers, The Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Club of America, Autism Speaks, and Shriners Hospital.  Attending celebrities would be leading one of sixteen children’s team in hopes of winning a cash prize, which would be donated to the organization of their choice.

As stated by event organizer Stacy Lyles, “It is definitely a family event that will show the public an interactive and engaging way to save a child’s life and have fun at the same time.”  This seemed to certainly be the case, as lots of fun was had by all of the stars and audiences alike.  The tournament played a big part, but the event also featured interactive games, musical performances, health culinary demonstrations, professional trainers, and the latest on diabetes prevention and advances.  All of the stars were certainly ready and willing to interact with others there just to have a good time, as no one was too busy to stop, take photos, and chat with their fans.  I certainly had a nice time, as it was a nice way to continue easing into an exciting summer.

Find out more information here:



Check out a small video I made of the actual race here:



And feel free to check out many more pictures I took here (click to enlarge):


2 Responses to “An All-Star Go-Kart Race To The Finish, Benefiting The American Diabetes Association”

  1. Gregg

    How cool! It looked like a lot of fun for a worthy cause. You also win the honor of longest article title ever! On a serious note, it’s great to see the stars come out and open their pockets for a charity such as this.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Ha, thanks Gregg, I was trying to break 3 lines. So close.