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Online Auction Benefits Wilson Children's Fund

The eBay online auction to raise money for the family of late Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson went live Sept. 14 and is off to a strong start toward organizer Graham Rahal's goal of raising $1 million.

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The first batch of items up for auction is a group of 19 racing helmets - 17 worn by drivers in the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30, along with Townsend Bell's colorful helmet from the 2014 Indianapolis 500 and the helmet worn by racing legend Mario Andretti when he drove Honda's "Fastest Seat in Sports" two-seat Indy car at Indianapolis and other events this year.

Wilson died Aug. 24 from a head injury sustained in a race the day before. The Wilson Children's Fund has been established to benefit Wilson's widow, Julia, and daughters Jane, 7, and Jessica, 5.

Rahal, the driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and a former teammate of Wilson, is partnering his Graham Rahal Foundation with eBay and online auction facilitator Auction Cause. Through eBay's direct involvement, transaction fees will be waived and all proceeds will go straight to the Wilson Children's Fund. To view auction items up for bid, visit http://stores.ebay.com/Celebrity-Charity-Auctions/Justin-Wilson-Memorial

"Justin was not just an incredible driver, he was an incredible person, teammate and friend. Through this auction, I hope we can raise as much money as possible to help provide for his wife (Julia), Jane and Jessica," said Rahal. 

The current group of helmets is available for bid through 9 p.m. ET Sept. 24. Another five groups of racing and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia will follow until the auction's conclusion Oct. 26. In addition to Indy car memorabilia, drivers and teams from Formula One, NASCAR, World Endurance Challenge, Global Rallycross and United SportsCar Championship have donated items for auction. Non-racing items include a microphone autographed by The Who's Roger Daltrey from the iconic rock group's concert this year at the Glastonbury Festival in England and an original painting of Wilson's car by artist Bill Patterson.

Rahal's helmet from the Sonoma race recently pre-sold for $50,000, while the helmet of Wilson's Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay pre-sold for $24,000 at a charity event during the race weekend. The $74,000 raised from those helmets is earmarked for the Wilson fund.

Fans who sell their own Wilson-related items on eBay can designate the Graham Rahal Foundation as their chosen charity and proceeds will be donated to the Wilson Children's Fund as well.

Those wishing to contribute directly to the Wilson Children's Fund can do so online at http://justinwilson.co.uk/donate or by mail to: Wilson Children's Fund, c/o Forum Credit Union, P.O. Box 50738, Indianapolis, IN 46250-0738.

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