The 4th Annual Kurt Caselli Foundation (KCF) MotoDoffo Winery Fundraiser in Temecula, California, celebrated the late, great off-road racer’s memory by once again gathering his family, friends and fans at an event where they could reminisce, forge new relationships and, yes, donate to the safety-oriented program launched only a few months after he passed away at the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000.

Kurt Caselli Foundation Fundraiser at Doffo Winery
The Doffo Winery’s Moto Barrel Room houses a small portion of the approximately 180 vintage bikes and memorabilia the Doffo family displays. On this day, it also served as the setting for two of Kurt Caselli’s race bikes and assorted family photos.Photo by Mark Kariya
Kurt Caselli Foundation Fundraiser at Doffo Winery
The KCF Fundraiser is the biggest event of the year for the Doffo Winery, whose owners are passionate motorcycle riders, though they lean more towards vintage road racing than dirt riding. Here, KCF board members (back row from left) Nancy Caselli, Sarah White, Carolyn Caselli and Damian Doffo (front) display the one-off bottle of wine that was only one of the live auction items.Photo by Mark Kariya
Kurt Caselli Foundation Fundraiser at Doffo Winery
These raffle items are priceless treasures direct from the Caselli family collection: the E2 class winner’s trophy and gold medal he earned at the 2011 ISDE in Finland as well as the front number plate from his bike at that race.Photo by Mark Kariya

“It’s kind of a heavy day, actually, to be honest because what started this was a lot of pain,” KCF board member Jon-Erik Burleson confessed. “To be where we are today and see all the positive energy that we have and everybody to be so excited about the Caselli name and kind of the spirit that Kurt had, it’s definitely something that I think is also not only for everybody here to have a good day and a great day to raise money for safety of off-road riding, but also it’s a bit of therapy for us, too.”

Therapeutic or not, there’s no denying the fact that this non-profit organization has successfully impacted the sport through an astounding number of initiatives since day one—and it’s been funded entirely via donations large and small.

Kurt Caselli Foundation Fundraiser at Doffo Winery
Yes, the event was kid-friendly. If they wanted to spin a few laps or even participate in the races, Stacyc provided electric strider-type bikes and scooters on a mini-super moto course where KCF board member Jon-Erik Burleson supervised and even gave pointers on line selection.Photo by Mark Kariya

One of its first actions was to donate an ultrasound machine—a nearly $40,000 piece of medical equipment useful in determining internal injuries—to the Alpinestars Mobile Medical Unit (originally the Asterisk MMU, of course) that’s on hand at all AMA motocross Nationals and Supercross races. The Foundation also made it possible for Rescue 3 volunteer medical staff of Southern California (who are often proficient dirt riders themselves and can access a victim quickly) to work alongside the Asterisk crew at the 2013 AMA National MX in Utah where they could both share and gather data.

The Foundation paid for a helicopter to “open” the course at the 2014 SCORE Baja 1000 as well as a pre-run truck to perform similar duties at all three SCORE Baja races that year. In 2015, the Foundation announced that off-road legend Paul Krause would be the KCF Safety Advisor responsible for pre-riding every course in Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series and recommending any necessary changes in course markings as well as speaking at race safety meetings. Also, for the Youth H&H racers, the Foundation donated high-viz safety bibs and began to gather data via the King-Devick test to get baseline information that could be used to monitor the extent of future brain injuries.

Kurt Caselli Foundation Fundraiser at Doffo Winery
The KCF board (Sarah White and Antti Kallonen shown here) announced that David Kamo (right) will assume the duties of the KCF Race Course Safety Advisor from Paul Krause, pre-riding all courses before each round of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series and offer suggestions on improving course marking or even layout.Photo by Mark Kariya

Then there’s the Kurt Caselli Memorial Scholarship awarded twice a year to an off-road racer to continue higher education. Started in 2016, the two recipients to date are Rachel Gutish and Starr Savage.

As you can see, the KCF has done quite a bit since its creation, spending $315,031 of the $622,000 accrued as of the beginning of the year. The MotoDoffo fundraiser will add substantially to that, of course, though it’s too early to tally how much was raised via the on-site live auctions, raffles and other donations. As Burleson shared, “… there are some big donors [throughout the year], but most of it comes in small little bits and when you add [that] up and do a couple good events [like this] and add up those little things, it turns out to be big money.”

And it’s money that remains true to the core mission of the Kurt Caselli Foundation: Improving safety for off-road riders and racers in the years to come.

Kurt Caselli Foundation Fundraiser at Doffo Winery
Any guesses as to who in this crowd took home the KTM 50 SX donated by local dealer KTM of Murrieta (as well as a full set of riding gear) after winning that raffle? (Her four-year-old daughter is going to be the lucky future rider.)Photo by Mark Kariya