A new nonprofit organization, Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation (OMYF), has been formed to provide young people with unique hands-on opportunities in motorsports. The nonprofit organization, based in Evansville, Indiana, resulted from one boy’s dream to build a desert racing team that gives back to the community.
Preston Lewis, an individual passionate about racing who was diagnosed with leukemia in high school, came up with OMYF to connect the youth to the motorsports industry and help them pursue their dreams. Lewis’s wish to create OMYF and his own desert racing team granted by Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana who has given him the connections he needs to make it all happen.
“Preston is an inspiring young man who is using his wish as a platform to inspire, engage and help others,” said Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana Chief Advancement Officer and wish dad John Carreon. “We can’t wait to see all the amazing things Preston will do through his nonprofit. We’re so grateful to our community partners like EXTEND GROUP who have helped make his wish a reality.”
Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation will provide children with a bridge of opportunity to connect them with motorsports. Those who desire to get involved with OMYF can gain real-life experience working on the team’s Class 7100 Unlimited Trophy Truck that will be soon be built or pursue another aspect of the sport that they are most passionate about, such as race management, learning more about the repair processes, helping design and develop new parts, and much more. OMYF hopes to become a steppingstone for young people to do great things with their lives, even if they don’t end up pursuing a career in motorsports.
“The whole goal for the foundation is to be able to give kids the golden ticket, as I call it,” said Lewis. “If we can just give them one trait or one piece of advice that they can carry for the rest of their life and go somewhere great with it, whatever it is, that’s the best possible outcome we can have.”
Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana connected Lewis to Michael Davis of VPS Architecture and Shawn Collins CEO and founder of EXTEND GROUP to help him launch his own 501c3 and build a brand for the organization.
“EXTEND GROUP is honored to serve Preston in the formation of the Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation. His story inspired us. His passion for motorsports connected us and combined with his desire to give back to our community; it’s supercharged us. He’s come such a long way in his journey,” said Collins. “EXTEND GROUP is looking forward to seeing Preston’s wish become a reality. We recognize his accomplishments today and know OMYF will positively impact future generations. We cannot wait to see where this new journey takes Preston.
OMYF will not only provide opportunities for the youth of today to gain experience in an industry that they otherwise wouldn’t get to be a part of, but it will prove to be a valuable asset to the local community as well. Desert racing is an untapped market in Southern Indiana, so the possibilities and opportunities are endless. For part manufacturers, OMYF will become a valuable asset as well as it will give them the opportunity to imprint their brand on potential lifelong customers and future employees.
To help make OMYF a reality, the team needs the community’s support and any time or equipment people are willing to donate. When asked what the one thing he needs most to make OMYF happen, Preston Lewis stressed the value of knowledge and time. Any advice, industry insight, or a connection to someone that can aid the cause will help Preston and his team tremendously.