Honoring Carroll

$25,000 Donation to Aid Transplants

Larry Jewett - January 17, 2013 10:22 AM


From left to right: Neil Cummings, Joe Conway, Aaron Shelby, Ben Sornsin and Jenni Shreeves

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In honor of the late Carroll Shelby’s birthday on Friday, Jan. 11, the Carroll Shelby Foundation announced a $25,000 donation to a charity close to the philanthropist’s heart, the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). Established in 1991, the Carroll Shelby Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides medical support for children at home and around the world, as well as educational opportunities for young adults who want to advance their automotive trade skills.
“We wanted to do something special for what would have been Carroll’s 90th birthday this year,” said Jenni Shreeves, executive director of the Carroll Shelby Foundation. “What better present to give than the gift of life. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association is a wonderful organization that continues to help thousands of children and young adults receive another chance at a happy and healthy life. We’re proud to share the same mission and values of such a highly respected team of philanthropists.”
The $25,000 donation was presented by Shreeves and Board of Directors representative Neil Cummings to Children’s Organ Transplant Association Representative Ben and Jodi Sornsin during the 2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction gala. As a COTA recipient, Ben Sornsin recently celebrated his 20-year anniversary of his liver transplant. The gala was a tribute to Carroll Shelby and his contributions to the automotive industry.
“Carroll Shelby was an active philanthropist, who had a big heart,” added COTA President Rick Lofgren. “For more than 25 years, we’ve successfully helped parents receive the necessary transplants for their children because of the generous support that COTA receives from people and organizations like Mr. Shelby and his Foundation. We’ll continue to provide medical support through financial donations to help families give their children a second chance.”
COTA was started in July 1985 after its first patient, a toddler from Bloomington, Ind., needed a liver transplant to survive. After learning of the family’s dire situation and lack of funds, the Indiana community rallied together to raise $100,000. The charitable action inspired these volunteers to create an organization based off the values the community demonstrated during those fateful weeks. Today, COTA assists patients who require a life-saving organ, bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplants, by helping families and their volunteers through every step of the fundraising process.