NASCAR Foundation hosting 10th anniversary gala in New York

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The NASCAR Foundation will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a Sept. 27 gala in New York City that will feature singer Rachel Platten and also reveal the winner of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.

The gala at the Marriott Marquis will be to commemorate the Foundation’s 10 years of work that has helped raise $25 million.

Betty Jane France, the Founder and Chairwoman Emeritus of The NASCAR Foundation, will present the award named after her to a NASCAR fan who has shown “tremendous dedication to improving the lives of children in their communities.” The efforts of those nominated for the award have helped more than 200,000 children since the award’s inception six years ago. The winner will be chosen following a public vote of four finalists that begins July 13.

Other awards will be given out, including the first Founder’s Award, which will be given to Mark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group.

The Founder’s Award recognizes “contributions to philanthropy through use of time, talent and resources – both personally and professionally – to make a meaningful impact on the lives of children.”

Lazarus serves on the board of governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as well as the board of directors for the Atlanta-based East Lake Foundation. That foundation helps families build better lives through community revitalization with mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education, and health and wellness programs.

“Mark is simply an exceptional individual, and we could not have chosen a more deserving person to receive this inaugural award,” France said in a press release. “This will make the evening even more memorable and we thank all of our partners for their continued support.”

The annual Children’s Champion Award also will be presented to a medical professional who has “showcased significant contributions, leadership, and dedication to enriching the lives of children.”

The NASCAR Foundation also will announce the launch of the Speediatrics Children’s Fund through a long-term partnership with a New York-area medical organization providing services to children in need.