Sunday, December 12, 2010

NASCAR youth to host red carpet holiday gala

Inaugural event sponsored by Victory Junction and Newman's Own Foundation

CORNELIUS, N.C. (Dec. 7, 2010) NASCAR’s youth will serve as ambassadors to motivate and teach their peers what it means to contribute and give back to their community at the “Wish Upon a Star Holiday Gala” on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, at the Fillmore in Charlotte, N.C. The evening will feature a performance by American Country Music artist Heidi Newfield.

The inaugural event is created by Victory Junction, a camp for chronically ill children in Randleman, N.C., through a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, a charitable arm of the food products company started by Paul Newman.

“Victory Junction has been searching for an annual event for this region and we feel that a youth-centered Gala is a great way to embrace the holiday season,” explained Director of Development Brooke Hondros. “Victory Junction has been blessed by money raised and gifted by the NASCAR industry and Charlotte, N.C., individuals and businesses. Receiving the grant from Newman’s Own Foundation for this event creates an avenue for us to acknowledge this continued support and to reciprocate the benevolence.Victory Junction’s goal is that the families attending will leave the event thrilled by the music and camaraderie, pumped up by the spirit of giving and challenged to seek charitable opportunities.”
 
The NASCAR-affiliated hosts have seen their parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents embrace philanthropy of all kinds and want to continue in this heart felt tradition by educating and challenging their peers to give back. On this special Friday evening, every child will feel like a star as kids from all around the Charlotte region walk the red carpet and enjoy an evening of entertainment and friendship.

“My dad is always the one in front of the camera and now it’s my turn to have a little fun on the red carpet,” said Macy Waltrip, daughter of two-time Daytona 500 champion and television commentator, Michael Waltrip. “It will be fun to see Paige (Burton) and Karsyn (Elledge) away from the racetrack, and to kick off Christmas break with my friends at this gala.”

“Watching my daughter Karsyn get so enthusiastic about helping others is something great to see,” said Kelley Earnhardt, VP and GM of JR Motorsports. “Our family is proud of our relationship with Victory Junction and now I get to watch my kids get involved in something we have enjoyed doing for so long.”

The youth hosts have asked that the children attending consider being a part of the “spirit of giving” by bringing the gift of a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots Charlotte.

“I think it’s great to know that as kids we can help make a difference too,” said Armando Fitz, son of Victory Junction Board Member, Mimi Fitz and grandson of NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates. “Bringing a toy to the event is so simple and it will help make another kid smile...it's a great feeling."

“I have watched my children give back in their own way and there really is nothing more satisfying,” said Kyle Petty, co-founder of the camp. “Adam started visiting hospitals when he was traveling on the racing circuit and camp was a vision he had that he really wanted to see come to life. Austin now oversees the day to day operations at Victory Junction and sees the rewards each day. To watch this next generation become involved in the good will of others is something special.”

Release courtesy of Victory Junction

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