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Gumball drivers raise money from Toronto to Hollywood

Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola greets spectators as he crosses the finish line of the Gumball 3000 Rally on June 1, 2022, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. He arrived in a Chevrolet C8 Corvette. (Photo Calvin Tiger)

HOLLYWOOD – The Gumball 3000 Rally served as the perfect excuse for sports car and driving enthusiasts to take a road trip through two countries – with memorable pit stops along the way – ultimately crossing the finish line June 1 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

Actor David Hasselhoff gets the Gumball 3000 Rally started May 27, 2022, in Toronto. (Image via YouTube)

The week-long rally, which organizers emphasized was not a race, raised money for the charities of the rally’s foundation. It began May 27 in downtown Toronto. Actor David Hasselhoff, who shared stardom with a talking sports car in the 1980s TV show “Knight Rider,” waved the ceremonial starting flag amid the participating vehicles and throngs of spectators on blocked off streets. Other celebrities involved in the launch included DJ Deadmau5, Miami Heat player Jimmy Butler, baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., automotive YouTuber Mr. JWW and rap artist Bun B.

Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola participated in the rally. He and his teammate, Sean Caffery, senior vice president of casino & business development for Hard Rock International, drove a Chevrolet C8 Corvette with a custom vinyl wrap displaying the colors of the Seminole Tribe’s flag and the logo of Hard Rock, which was a major sponsor. Similar to pro racecar drivers, Councilman Osceola and Caffery’s team shirt was covered with an array of logos, including the tribe’s flag and Hard Rock and some of its entities, such as the Council Oak restaurant, Daer nightclub/dayclub and the Guitar Hotel.

Sean Caffery, Hard Rock International’s senior vice president of casino & business development, talks about participating in the Gumball 3000 Rally on June 1, 2022, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. (Image SMP)

Additional exotic sport cars in the rally included McLaren 765LT Spider, Porsche 911 GT2RS, Porsche 911 GT3, Ferrari as well as Rolls Royce, muscle cars and others.

The rally’s purpose was about more than just sleek, fast cars making the 1,500-mile trek south.

“It is all for a great cause; everybody on this ride donated money for this cause. [Teams] raised over $1 million for various charities,” Councilman Osceola said.

According to the Gumball 3000 Foundation’s website, the Osceola-Caffery team was among the top five teams in fundraising. 

The event’s history dates back to 1999. Founder Maximillion Cooper’s vision was to gather people who enjoy driving supercars through different bucket list adventures across the world.  Through the foundation, the rally’s charity efforts focus on improving the lives of youth, including at-risk and underprivileged kids, through automotive, educational and recreational-based projects.

From right, Dodge Viper, McLaren, and two Porsches finish the Gumball 3000 Rally at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on June 1, 2022. (Photo Calvin Tiger)

After leaving Canada, the rally stopped at several cities. In Indianapolis, participants attended the Indianapolis 500 race, which was a first for Councilman Osceola. In country music-rich Nashville, the rally cars made their way along the famed downtown Broadway thoroughfare. Before crossing into Florida, the rally had an opportunity in Alabama to take laps at the Talladega Superspeedway, one the most iconic race tracks in NASCAR. The rally also stopped in Atlanta in the Atlantic Station area.  

One of the last stops was at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, home of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola is interviewed by SMP after finishing the Gumball 3000 Rally on June 1, 2022, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. (Image SMP)

“We stopped at the Tampa football stadium and parked our cars on the field,” Councilman Osceola said.

The journey concluded at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood with a rock star welcome for Councilman Osceola, Caffery and other participants. They were greeted by spectators, loud rock music, and bright flashing lights with smoke at the entrance of the Guitar Hotel.

“Hard Rock embodies entertainment; we are an entertainment company first,” Caffery said. “We have the opportunity to partner with a global company that brings entertainment and does so much for charities around the world. We felt that it was an incredible opportunity to bring the two together and create something that could excite people around not only the Hard Rock brand but our partnership with Gumball.”

A Ferrari 488 GTB from the Gumball 3000 Rally arrives at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on June 1, 2022. (Photo Calvin Tiger)
A Rolls Royce from the Gumball 3000 Rally is greeted by spectators at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on June 1, 2022. (Photo Calvin Tiger)
A Porsche GT2 RS from the Gumball 3000 Rally arrives at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on June 1, 2022. (Photo Calvin Tiger)
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Calvin Tiger
Calvin Tiger is an intern/reporter for the Seminole Tribune. He has worked with the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 2013. He has a passion for automotive journalism. Send him an email at calvintiger@semtribe.com or call him at (954) 985-5701, ext. 10739.
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