GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As the speedometer bounces past 150 mph, Marc Miller’s eyes locked in. As he downshifts to make the turn at the racetrack in Sebring, Florida, his eyes shift and scan and somehow remain locked. They’re zeroed in on the competition. It’s why Miller has been driving professionally for the better part of 15 years.
“I’m a very fair competitor but very aggressive, but when it comes down to competition you never want to get beat, ever,” Miller said.
It’s that competitive drive that has Miller hoping to make an impact on the track and in the lives of those struggling with cystic fibrosis. While his push for a championship begins Sunday with the Trans-Am season opener in Florida, thousands of miles away someone in West Michigan will have just purchased a Detroit Grand Prix exclusive behind the scenes gift pack — donated by Miller to the Friends and Families of Cystic Fibrosis’ annual fundraiser BID.
BID is short for Bid for Bachelors and Bachelorettes; For 22 years FFCF has been hosting the fundraiser to raise money to provide care packages for families who struggle with cystic fibrosis. It’s a genetic disease that affects the lungs. Mucus builds up in airways and blocks oxygen to the body. It is a deadly disease with no cure.
FFCF tries to take the burden off families who deal with CF. Those who have the disease spend much of their time in the hospital, hours on end, wearing a vest to break up the mucus or having tests, transplants or procedures to help them breathe. FFCF has delivered comfort with care packages, helped with bills, transportation or any need families might have while they battle the gruesome disease.
BID helps FFCF raises over $100,000 each year so they can offer that care. It’s a unique event; 30 bachelors and bachelorettes put together “date packages.” Over the years it has evolved from those participants going on dates to more elaborate vacations that families or couples come to bid on.
Miller’s donation of three day passes to the Detroit Grand Prix includes shuttles passes, hospitality and a meet and greet photo opportunity with the race car drivers.
“Anything I can do to help families locally from West Michigan,” Miller said.
And it’s has dual importance for Miller. His son lives with autism and he says he knows the support families need from groups like FFCF because his own family has relied on those types of organizations of the last 16 years.
It’s a championship combination. While Miller starts his races towards the checkered flag, his contributions will help those racing against the life left in their lungs.
The Bid for Bachelors and Bachelorettes auction is Saturday night at the JW Marriot. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., live bidding on the 30 date packages begins at 7 p.m. and it’s $35 to get in.