33 Years — and Counting!
What a beautiful assortment of cars!Fans and first-time visitors, On behalf of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association and its volunteers, I welcome you to the 33rd Annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
Our inaugural race through the streets of Schenley Park on Labor Day in 1983 instantly made us the largest vintage race event in the United States. Thirty two years later, with 250,000 spectators, we still hold that prestigious title. Our ten-day event has two race weekends, five distinct car shows, a concert, two parades, a road rallye, a countryside tour, even a blacktie gala.
We are enormously grateful to our friends at the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation. They topped off their first year as Presenting Sponsor by helping us set a new record for charitable donations – $360,000! This new association will maximize our event’s impact and expansion throughout the automotive community. It’s an ideal fit for both organizations, and we are thrilled to have them as our partners.
There are so many groups that come together to make this all possible, starting with our 1,200 volunteers – many who work year-round to prepare and host the events. Their dedication to our event and passion for our charities is inspirational. Our lineup of.sponsors is an impressive list of local and national organizations. Our relationship with the City of Pittsburgh – is an all-encompassing partnership that continues to make this the nation’s only vintage race run on city streets. We are eternally grateful to our car show participants and our vintage racers, who both make our event possible by sharing their vehicles with all of us.
Our success is measured in many ways, but one we pay the most attention to is how much we raise for charity – something that is sometimes overlooked given just how large our event has become. Since 1983 the Grand Prix has donated $3.9 million to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School – we are looking forward to breaking through the $4 million mark this year. Both charities are also an integral part of our volunteer efforts and the overall event – a testament to the philosophy of community and partnership that permeates the Grand Prix culture.
Please take a moment to thank the next volunteer you see this week and drop a few dollars at the donation stations. Remember, it’s all about giving back to our community.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
Daniel E. DelBianco
Executive Director, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix
The entire history of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix can be summarized as follows: Art McGovern, racing enthusiast, and his friend, Mary Beth Gmitter, had long felt that the street s of Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park were an ideal venue for a wheel-to-wheel vintage car racing event. They approached the city and discovered they would need a charity to be the beneficiary of any money such an event might raise. They chose the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, who recommended a second well-known local charity, Allegheny Valley School, and the voice of the Steelers, Myron Cope, to sell it. And sell it they did to Mayor Dick Caliguiri, vintage car driver owners, racecourse layout planners, a source of volunteers, city workers, sponsors, insurance companies, and a sanctioning body. It took three months to put everything in place and the first race was held on Labor Day weekend, September 3, 1983.
Except for the founders, names are less important than the remarkable roles played by all those who — then and since — have been captivated and consumed by their vision. From volunteers, drivers and car clubs to charities and sponsors, the right people have stepped up and into our history. From Day One to the present, they have enabled the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix to evolve from one day of vintage racing and a tiny car show to an internationally recognized two-week celebration of automotive historical excellence, plus pride in our city and its big, big heart.
Charities and Ambassadors
Since our founding in 1983 the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association’s mission has been to produce a world-class vintage racing event to raise funds that help provide advocacy, residential care, treatment and support for individuals with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. Last year the PVGP raised a record $360,000, bringing our total donation to the brink of $4 million.
This year we expanded the Ambassador program. We are excited to welcome the new ambassadors to join Anita and Brandon. They all characterize the impact that our two charities have in our community. Thousands of lives have been dramatically improved through the educational and residential programs that the Autism Society and AVS provide. Our ambassadors put a face on the charities, and let the public see that their donations and efforts have a real and lasting affect.”
Grateful To Be The Beneficiaries Of The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Since 1983
Contributions have helped the Autism Society of Pittsburgh to:
- Train legal and juvenile justice professionals
- Develop middle school autism curriculum
- Provide summer education to prevent seasonal regression
- Produce training film for travelers with autism
- Collaboratively tutor autistic students with S.T.E.M. skills
- Conduct parent support group and provider in-services
- Educate governmental officials on autism needs
The mission of the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, founded in 1966, is to provide advocacy, information, and referral on care, treatment, educational, habilitative and other life-improving service options for those with autism, their parents and families, and to the professionals who work with them.
Contributions have helped Allegheny Valley School to:
- Create outdoor recreational spaces
- Build and equip sensory program areas
- Acquire vocational and prevocational tools and materials
- Make facility improvements
- Purchase furnishings for residences and program areas
Allegheny Valley School’s mission is to provide quality programs and facilities to help the individuals with developmental disabilities entrusted to our care to live with purpose and dignity, and to provide opportunities and choices for our clients to grow and function at their full potential as independently as possible.
1996 Ewings Mill Road • Coraopolis, PA 15108
412-299-7777 • www.avs.net
Terrence N. McNelis, President & CEO, Allegheny Valley School