Rally for the Ranch

From the July 2013 issue of Columbus CEO

The Buckeye Ranch’s newest fundraiser is bound to get some folks’ motors running.

The Buckeye Ranch’s newest fundraiser is bound to get some folks’ motors running. Rally for the Ranch is a three-part event tailor-made for auto enthusiasts, produced by the Buckeye Ranch and he Bobby Rahal Foundation.

This year’s Rally for the Ranch kicks off with an exotic and rare car show at Easton Town Center. The event is free and open to the public. In 2012, the inaugural event drew 71 cars valued at about $32 million.

“Frankly, there are a lot of car shows, but this isn’t more of the same,” saysracing legend Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in Hilliard. “Last year we had a tremendous selection of very valuable cars that you don’t see every day.”

A banquet at the Aladdin Shrine Center will host 500 guests for a “lavish dinner,” wine, entertainment and a charity auction. Guests can purchas a sponsorship ($10,000 to $50,000)table eight $5,000) or individual ticket$625.

Banquet attendees will receive paddock passes and hospitalityto the third event, the Honda Indy 200 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington on Aug. 4.

Last year, Rally for the Ranch raised $266,000. About 300 people attended the banquet—many new donors who had never heard of Buckeye Ranch. “They were drawn in by the car collection and because they knew who Bobby Rahal was,” says Buckeye Ranch President and CEO Nick Rees.

The fundraiser grew out of longtime relationship between Rahal and Rees, who met during the latter’s tenure at the Kroger Co. “I’m a closet motorhead, and I was looking for an idea for a new event and realized there was no fundraiser tied to the Honda Indyar race at Mid-Ohio,” Rees says.

“I’d been introduced to the Buckeye Ranch when I first moved here around 1981, and it seemed like an automatic thing frankly,”says Rahal. “Columbus is a very generous town, and in my mind, whatever you can do to help you need to do. So to be able to help the Buckeye Ranch and to do it in fun way, and get people who may not know about the ranch involved, is great.”