A typical trip to an auto repair shop turned into the chance of a lifetime for a Baltimore woman, who received an all-expenses-paid visit for her and her 17-year-old special needs son to the Baltimore Grand Prix earlier this month.

Corri Burman, a 38-year-old single mother, was waiting in a west Baltimore auto repair shop last January when she noticed J.P. Grant, a well-known Baltimore businessman and managing partner of Grand Prix organizer Race On LLP, enter the building.

Burman said she “recognized Mr. Grant when he walked in” and they began having a casual conversation about Baltimore, her son and the Grand Prix.

“She was not sold on the Grand Prix, she wasn’t really enthusiastic about the race,” Grant told the AFRO.

Grant said he told Burman to give him a call in August, and he would make sure she and her family received tickets to the Grand Prix and that “they had a nice time.”

“Her entire attitude changed when I offered her tickets,” Grant said.

But much to Grant’s surprise, Burman didn’t call. A week before the Labor Day race, he said he asked his staff if someone had called the office for tickets, and everyone told him “no.”

“I didn’t call because I didn’t think he would remember me, then if he did, I didn’t want to get my son’s hopes up,” Burman said. “I would have never imagined months later he still remembered that he promised me tickets.”

To fulfill that promise, Grant retraced his steps in an attempt to find Burman.

“I went back to the auto repair shop to see if the staff could put me in touch with Burman,” he said. “I asked them to search their system during the time I was there in January”

The staff succeeded, and called her on the spot. Grant offered Burman and her family six free tickets to the Third Annual Baltimore Grand Prix. Over the phone Burnam mentioned to Grant that her car was inoperable and that she recently lost her job.

“I wanted to do this because if I could help someone, why not,” Grant said.

So, on Aug. 31, Grant sent a limousine to Burman’s northwest Baltimore home and she and her son, along with a few friends, attended the Grand Prix for the first time.

To show her gratitude, Burman sent a bouquet of white lilies and roses to his office.

“He was so generous, he paid for everything, he sent a limo,” Burman said. “It was common curiosity, and I wanted to show the same amount of thank you to Mr. Grant as he showed to my family.”


Blair Adams

AFRO Staff Writer