Philanthropy A to Z
S – Seaside Le Mans
Text by Christina Galt
Seaside Le Mans is an annual community event underwritten by The Davenport Companies, featuring local business sponsors racing in Formula 1 style karts with the goal of raising funds for the Cape Cod community. The event held annually each September at Mashpee Commons is filled with a full day of racing, food, music and family fun that is free to attend. Twenty years ago, the Davenport Companies of South Yarmouth, a fourth-generation family-powered company, developed the idea for Seaside Le Mans following a company retreat at X1 Boston. Seaside Le Mans has become a unique experince and philanthropic endevor that provides a chance for local businesses to give back to the community in a new thrilling way.
The race itself features about twenty karts, driven by local business sponsors, that reach speeds up to fifty miles per hour only three inches off the ground. The teams of six drivers switch in and during the four-hour endurance race on a quarter mile track that is built by local volunteers. For a chance to compete, the driving sponsors from businesses across the region, make generous contributions to the five beneficiaries that have been selected through the Cape Cod Foundations. The beneficiaries are selected each year by The Davenport Companies’ Charitable Giving Committee and recieve 100% of all donations and sponsorships, as the company underwrites all costs associated with the event.
“The one really important aspect of Seaside Le Mans is that it’s a true team and community effort,” says event director Kelsey Ellis. Seaside Le Mans has grown into one of the biggest one-day fundrasing events here on the Cape and has generated 7.5 million dollars for more than fifty organizations over the past twenty years. Ellis explains, “The best part of Seaside Le Mans is seeing how the effects of the funding further the missions of our non-profit partners.” This year, the 20th Annual Seaside Le Mans was canceled due to COVID-19, but with the help of the local business community, Seaside Le Mans was able to raise $100,000 for the five 2020 beneficiaries!
Plans are currently in place for the 21st Annual Seaside Le Mans. To find out more about the race visit seasidelemans.org.
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