Giving Back
January 24, 2024

COTA in the Community – A 2023 Recap

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In 2023, Circuit of The Americas served the city of Austin with its philanthropic and community-focused initiative, COTA Cares. Efforts from COTA Cares reached residents from Del Valle to Cedar Park and beyond. Projects included an educational center, new opportunities for neurodiverse residents, a beloved charity gala, and nights dedicated to COTA’s closest neighbors.

Del Valle Community Coalition Honors COTA

Our Del Valle neighbors thanked COTA for their Outstanding Support of the Del Valle community year-round. COTA always prioritizes giving back to our community, especially in times of need such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for Thanksgiving Turkey drives and dedicated community moments at track events. Read on to learn more about COTA’s contributions to Del Valle in 2023.

COTA Leads in Equitable Accessibility

Starting at the beginning of 2023, COTA leadership and staff met with The Circuit’s Disability Access Taskforce to review changes made to the venue for the benefit of individuals with disabilities. Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar, said:

“… COTA is going to be a best practice for venues like this for the country…”

Whirlpool Patio’s Grand Opening

Circuit of The Americas offered a generous donation to Hill Country Conservancy to finish the Whirlpool Patio in South Austin, an outdoor educational space right next to Violet Crown Trail. 

Officially opened on April 1, thousands of students will use the space to learn about the hill country ecosystem.

COTA & DVISD: Professional Career Development Program

From March to May, more than 60 students from the Del Valle High School Professional Development and Auto Mechanic Programs visited COTA each Wednesday to learn from every department.

Between karting mechanics, track operation professionals, events directors, and marketing teams, the teens asked questions, heard career histories, and got an in-depth look at The Circuit.

COTA’s First-Ever Low-Sensory Pit Walk

COTA coordinated with the Fanatec GT World Challenge America team to put on the first-ever Sensory Safe Pit Walk in the U.S. 

Kyle Loh, LA Honda World’s race car driver who has autism, told attendees about his experiences in motorsports. “What makes the event special is that we tailored it for neurodiverse people like me of all ages to have a proper chance at experiencing the motorsport atmosphere,” he said.

One-of-A-Kind Local BGCAA Experience

On Wednesday, July 19, ten club members from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area visited COTA for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of The Circuit. 

Participants explored the Paddock building, Race Control, podium, Garage 1, starting grid, the iconic Observation Deck and had an exhilarating time racing at COTA Karting.

Del Valle Community Festival

The Del Valle Community Coalition (DVCC) hosted the inaugural Del Valle Day Community Festival at The Circuit’s Grand Plaza on Saturday, June 3. 

More than 1,500 local residents attended the memorable and family-fun experience consisting of COTALand attractions, live performances, and local area businesses.

5th Annual Abbey Lights up COTA Gala

On Saturday, August 12, COTA hosted the Abbey Lights Up Gala to support medically fragile children and their families.

Guests participated in an evening filled with entertainment and fundraising, including an action-packed live auction, special guest speakers and music from the band Suede. Proceeds from the event went to the organization’s goal of building the first pediatric respite/hospice facility here in Central Texas.

Three Brothers Looking for a Forever Family Came Karting with KVUE

Hannah Rucker, reporter for local news station KVUE, features children looking for adoptive families each week. September 26, she followed up with a trio of brothers, Bobby, Aiden, and Marshall, after first meeting them a year ago.

COTA Karting opened up just for them to enjoy a special, family-friendly activity while still on the search for the right fit.

Grid Kids at the 2023 Formula 1 Lenovo USGP

An annual tradition at the F1 USGP, COTA and Formula 1 invited 20 local underserved youth to be a part of the Grand Prix opening ceremonies on the track’s starting grid.

Grid Kids are paired with a driver during the pre-race ceremony, giving each the chance to meet some of the fastest athletes in the world.

“Sweetest Ticket” for Local Community Organizations

Before Peppermint Parkway began, COTA visited various youth-focused community groups to present them with the “Sweetest Ticket” – a gift for local youth to experience the magic of the holidays at COTA.

Groups included the Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area, Child Inc HeadStart, d/Deaf and HoH Community Groups, Dell Children’s Foundation and Hospital, Autism Speaks, and Austin Angels.

Del Valle Night at Peppermint Parkway

Peppermint Parkway opened exclusively for the Del Valle community! Neighbors were welcomed by twinkling lights, amusement rides, and more, all at a discount. Joined by Representative Lulu Flores, the Circuit welcomed over 4,000 of its Del Valle neighbors.

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