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News Story
Updated: 03/18/2017 08:30:02AM

Painting for a cause

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PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Roger Warrick finishes a painting of Corvette Racing's team for the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by "Fresh from Florida." The painting will be auctioned off during the race to Corvette owners to raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Roger Warrick finishes a painting of Corvette Racing's team for the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by "Fresh from Florida." The painting will be auctioned off during the race to Corvette owners to raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Roger Warrick holds up a preliminary sketch for a painting he'll do to be auctioned off at the Porsche Corral at the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by "Fresh from Florida." That and other paintings will raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Roger Warrick holds up a preliminary sketch for a painting he'll do to be auctioned off at the Porsche Corral at the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by "Fresh from Florida." That and other paintings will raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Amy Jo Osborn, right, talks with prospective buyers of race memorabilia on Friday at the Wayne Taylor Racing tent in the Competitor Paddock of the Sebring International Raceway. An auction there Friday, organized by Osborn and other volunteers, raised fund for Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Amy Jo Osborn, right, talks with prospective buyers of race memorabilia on Friday at the Wayne Taylor Racing tent in the Competitor Paddock of the Sebring International Raceway. An auction there Friday, organized by Osborn and other volunteers, raised fund for Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Roger Warrick finishes a painting of Corvette Racing's team for the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by "Fresh from Florida." The painting will be auctioned off during the race to Corvette owners to raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Roger Warrick holds up a preliminary sketch for a painting he'll do to be auctioned off at the Porsche Corral at the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, fueled by "Fresh from Florida." That and other paintings will raise funds for the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER/STAFF

Amy Jo Osborn, right, talks with prospective buyers of race memorabilia on Friday at the Wayne Taylor Racing tent in the Competitor Paddock of the Sebring International Raceway. An auction there Friday, organized by Osborn and other volunteers, raised fund for Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, a charity that helps families cope with cancer treatments.

PHIL ATTINGER

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SEBRING — Roger Warrick put the finishing touches Friday morning on a painting of the Corvette Racing team’s duo of bright yellow C7.R-model Corvettes at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

However, the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer didn’t get to auction it off right away, as planned, said founder Amy Jo Osborn. The tent emptied after a meet-and-greet session with the team, but that didn’t dampen spirits for Foundation volunteers. The auction is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. today at the Corvette Corral.

They had another auction shortly after noon at the Wayne Taylor Racing transporter in the Competitor Paddock, to raise funds for a charity that helps child cancer patients and their families cope with the struggle against cancer.

Meanwhile, Warrick geared up to do three more paintings, live in front of audiences.

“It’s better than bringing one in,” Warrick said. “I think (it helps) to see it appear before their eyes. They’ve had time to see it happen.”

The process involves sketching out a rough draft on the stretched canvas ahead of time, then going back over it in oils to “bring it to life a little bit,” Warrick said.

Bringing people back to life is the purpose of the Foundation. Osborn, in her narrative on www.hatcherfoundation.org/who-we-are/, said she and her husband, Jim, had a beautiful baby boy on Aug. 15, 2006.

They named him Austin Hatcher Osborn — “Hatch,” for short. At the start of his eighth week, he showed strange symptoms. After several doctor visits and a hospital MRI, they learned he had brain tumors. He got progressively worse, and after several procedures, doctors still could not stop the malignancy. He died Oct. 19 that year in his father’s arms.

“The pain of this is nearly unspeakable, still. But that pain has created a deep desire to do all we can to help find a cure for pediatric cancer,” Amy Jo Osborn wrote. “We know we can make a difference in the battle against this dreaded disease.”

The Foundation is one of two charities supported by the International Motor Sport Association, said Ellis Hygema, who also helped arrange the fundraisers at this year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Fueled By Fresh from Florida. The Foundation does not accept payments from patients or the government, he said. It works with pediatric hospitals nationwide, not to treat cancer, but to treat the families struggling with the stress of cancer.

Hygema said the vast majority of childhood cancers are cured. During treatment, though, the child has to keep up with school work. Parents and siblings adjust to one child being “special,” then must readjust when the cancer goes into remission.

Volunteers with the Foundation go into hospitals with tutoring programs, Hygema said. Other help comes from specially-designed playrooms, camera-monitored, where parents and children can relax and play. However, psychologists watching monitors feed real-time advice to parents through hidden earphones, to help patients and their siblings adjust or readjust.

At the start of race week, Wayne Taylor Racing’s two lead drivers, Jordan and Ricky Taylor, along with their new co-driver, Alex Lynn, assisted the Foundation during a visit to young patients and families at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando. As for Warrick, he has spent at least seven years painting works to support the Foundation. One sold for $17,500 during the 2008 Petit Le Mans Charity Weekend, and another sold for $35,000 at Sebring in 2012, according to press information.

He said the knowledge that he can raise money so easily gives him motivation, and he admits, when asked, that having people watch him paint helps encourage bidders.

“People appreciate it more when they see it being made,” he said.


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