INDIANAPOLIS -- Verizon IndyCar Series stars Will Power and Helio Castroneves traded racing helmets for Santa hats on Dec. 17 to help some Indianapolis area children buy gifts for their families.
The Team Penske drivers joined members of the Indianapolis Colts for the annual Meijer “Shop with a Colt” event at a Meijer store on Indianapolis’ south side.
“Watching the kids get to go shopping, I love it,” Power said. “To shop with underprivileged kids and make sure they have a great Christmas is always important. They run around a lot, but they are having fun. I enjoy it. That’s why I come back every year.”
Power, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, was paired with two boys, 9-year-old Curtis and 10-year-old Prosper, who were armed with a $200 budget to buy gifts for their families and themselves. Meijer also donated an additional $20 to allow the children to pick out an additional gift from Toys for Tots.
After a quick dash down the toy aisle, the boys, members of the Central Indiana Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, were pointed in the direction much needed winter clothing for themselves and gifts for others by their Big Brothers and Power, who was in charge of keeping them under budget.
“What do you think your brother wants?” Power asked.
After a few blank stares from Curtis, he settled on a football and basketball.
Castroneves was partnered with three enthusiastic little girls, who tore through the store on the shopping spree like the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner drives around the race track.
His shopping group was one of the first to finish, but there was one small issue. His group was each about $40 under budget, which caused a holdup at the checkout counter.
“The three young ladies were awesome,” Castroneves said. “I couldn’t ask for better. They did a good job. I thought we were over-budget, but they each had 40 bucks, each, to spend. That made them even more excited.
“It’s one of those things that’s priceless. To see these kids so excited around the holidays is just great.”