CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 30, 2009) – Thousands of NASCAR fans across the country came out to support The NASCAR Foundation throughout the year, enabling the Foundation to raise and contribute $1.8 million in program services to nonprofit organizations across the country. A majority of the contributions went to affect the lives of children and families in need, especially in the areas of pediatric health, fulfilling “NASCAR Dreams,” education and community service.
The Foundation saw an increase in volunteer participation this year, in part due to a strong emphasis placed on community service through The NASCAR Foundation Volunteer Network – 10,000 NASCAR fans involved in community service projects. Record numbers of people came out to serve in their community this year, committing more than 10,000 hours to help those in need, including potentially saving 15,000 lives through The NASCAR Foundation Fourth Annual Blood Drive, raising enough funds to provide 250,000 meals to children and their families, raising awareness at the track about the importance of screening for breast cancer and collecting funds at the track that would enable over 150 kids to attend Victory Junction camp in Randleman, N.C.
“Thanks to the loyal fans of our sport, The NASCAR Foundation continues to fulfill – and exceed – our original vision for the organization,” said Foundation Chairperson Betty Jane France. “To be able to engage so many fans and to provide such a large amount in contributions is both exciting and gratifying. The Foundation is doing important work … meaningful work. We are extremely grateful for the fans’ support which makes that work possible.”
More than $350,000 was contributed this year to organizations with an emphasis on pediatric health, including pediatric cancer and trauma research. The work being done by organizations like The Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital, the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma and Speediatrics is critical to helping children live longer and fuller lives.
The NASCAR Foundation also worked throughout the year to provide life changing experiences and educational opportunities for young people at the track. Throughout the season the Foundation worked with organizations to bring more than 400 kids to the track to get an inside glimpse to the sport, its personalities and learn about the engineering that goes in to putting a stock car on the track every weekend.
One of these groups was students from Phillip O. Berry High School in Charlotte, N.C. Through a NASCAR Day program, The NASCAR Foundation brought students from the school out to the track in May for a tour and meet and greet with 2009 NASCAR Day spokesperson Kevin Costner.
“The exposure that our kids got at the track really has motivated some kids to focus on their technical educational because now they see that if they can do what they need to do academically, then these doors will be open for them,” said Donald Fennoy, principal at Phillip O. Berry High School.
In May, Victory Junction added The NASCAR Foundation to the elite founder list for surpassing the $1 million-giving mark. Since its inception, The NASCAR Foundation has given more than $1.5 million to Victory Junction through a variety of fundraising means, including NASCAR Day. Collectively, those efforts have sent more than 500 deserving children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses to Victory Junction for a life-changing experience
For more information on The NASCAR Foundation’s 2010 projects or on the impact the Foundation made within the motorsports community this year, visit WWW.NASCAR.COM/foundation.
About The NASCAR Foundation
The NASCAR Foundation embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and our commitment to serving communities. The Foundation supports a wide range of charitable initiatives that reflect the core values of the entire NASCAR Family. The NASCAR Foundation will use the strength of the sport and its people to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts and Scuffs Patricia Driscoll, girlfriend of 2004 NASCAR Nextel (now Sprint) Cup champion Kurt Busch, ...
"Female fans normally know more facts about what's going on than men do anyway. I'd say they're a more intelligent fan, on top of that. They normally know more about what we've done than we know about what we've done."
~Tony Stewart in a Skirts and Scuffs interview
"You may be a woman who began watching Kasey Kahne because you thought he was cute, but now after watching you become intrigued by the competitiveness of it. You become a sports fan, which may not be the reason you originally got involved but it is now."
~Krista Voda in Skirts and Scuffs interview
"…there are female fans who take apart engines and will take you apart if you have a problem with that; who are drawn to the danger and mystery of the sport; who watch races on TV to witness pure passion and unscripted emotion; who love the camaraderie of these family-friendly festivals; who feel the nervous anxiety of the lip-biting wives atop the pit boxes."
~Andrew Giangola in The Weekend Starts on Wednesday