The Pompa family has a long connection to the Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne, New York.
Located in New York’s Adirondack Park, the Double H Ranch was created by philanthropist Charles R. Wood and actor Paul Newman to provide specialized programs and year-round support for children and their families dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
“Back when the camp first started in 1993, the guy that started the camp, Charlie Wood, he was a businessman and philanthropist up in Lake George. I guess when he decided to start the camp, apparently he knew my mom somehow,” said Ed Pompa, a part-time competitor in the ARCA Menards Series since 2006. “He talked her into being on the board of directors.”
From that moment forward, the Pompa family has been associated with the Double H Ranch. Even after Pompa’s mother, Agnes, retired from the board of directors, Ed Pompa has continued to support the organization in his own way.
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Pompa, a 60-year-old native of Ballston Spa, New York, has featured the Double H Ranch logo on his race cars in the ARCA Menards Series for years. In doing so, he helps raise money for the organization.
“I didn’t start racing until 2006 in ARCA, and my first race, [team owner] Andy Hillenburg told me, ‘You can put whatever you want on the car,’” Pompa said. “I thought about it and said, ‘Aw what the heck, put Double H on the hood.’ We put them on the hood, we put some companies we deal with here at work on it and give them some free PR.”
After a few seasons of featuring Double H Ranch on his race cars, Pompa started thinking about how he could use the ARCA Menards Series to raise money for the organization.
“A couple years later I thought, ‘Why don’t I do something different? I’ll throw their name on the car and then get ahold of a lot of my vendors and suppliers, companies that buy from us,'” Pompa said. “I’ll just throw it out there, ‘Hey, if you make a donation to them, I’ll throw your name on the car for free, you might get some publicity out of the deal.’”
That program started in 2009, and since then, Pompa has raised more than $200,000 in support of the Double H Ranch. Not a dime of the money Pompa has raised has gone toward his racing program; it’s all given to the Double H Ranch.
“I just figured whatever I could do would help out,” Pompa said. “Some years are better than others, but altogether, the ones that have donated have been awesome.”
Since it was created in 1993, the Double H Ranch has welcomed more than 60,000 children dealing with life-threatening illnesses from around the world. The Double H Ranch was also the second Hole in the Wall Camp, a worldwide network of camps that welcome children dealing with serious illnesses.
This season, Pompa, who helps run the family construction business, Pompa Brothers Inc., is planning to compete in at least seven ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East events with Fast Track Racing beginning with the Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18.
In advance of that race, Pompa and Double H Ranch have launched a fundraising page that will allow fans and businesses to donate to Double H Ranch. Fans who donate $200 will have their names featured on the hood of Pompa’s race car not just for the opener at Daytona, but for every race he competes in this season.
There are also other donation levels that would allow businesses or individuals to secure space elsewhere on Pompa’s car. To be on the car for the race at Daytona, donations must be made by Feb. 10.
“Before it was just corporations, companies, I had a few private donors,” Pompa said. “If I can do $200, I can put their names on the hood and kind of fill the hood around the Double H logo and give them a tax-deductible donation and get their name on a race car and give Double H some funding.”
Pompa said that, while his family has been fortunate to run a successful business for 75 years, many others aren’t as lucky. By supporting the Double H Ranch, Pompa hopes to give back and support families and children who need a reason to smile.
“If we can help out a little bit here and spread the word … Double H has a good core group of supporters and always have,” Pompa said. “We’re trying to spread that out, get more people involved and get more people aware of what’s going on.”