Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

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Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists announced

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The 2018 finalists were revealed Sunday morning for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.

An online fan vote through Nov. 19 will determine the winner, who will be announced Nov. 29 at the NASCAR Awards Ceremony.

Here is the release from NASCAR:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 21, 2018) – NASCAR announced the four finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s eighth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award on Sunday at Kansas Speedway. The award, named in honor of the foundation’s late founder and chairwoman, honors NASCAR fans who are also accomplished volunteers working for children’s causes in their communities throughout the United States.

The award winner will be determined via an online fan vote today through Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. (ET) at NASCARfoundation.org/Award. The winner will be announced on Nov. 29 during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will donate $25,000 to the charities represented by the award finalists, with the winner’s charity receiving a $100,000 donation.

Here are the four finalists:

  • Carl Dakes of Harwood, Maryland, an 18-year volunteer representing the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation, Inc. of Catonsville, Maryland. The foundation provides hospital and respite housing services to critically ill children and their families.
  • Sarah Kersey of Dublin, Ohio, a cancer survivor who represents Flying Horse Farms in Mt. Gilead, Ohio. The facility, where Kersey has served as a volunteer since 2010, provides transformative camp experiences for children with serious illnesses, at no cost.
  • Cliff Preston of Gainesville, Florida, representing UF Health Shands. He has volunteered for more than 25 years as a “cuddler” to soothe hospitalized newborns in the NICU during a parent’s absence.
  • Rex Reynolds of Hazel Green, Alabama, representing the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama. Reynolds grew up participating in club programs and has now served in a volunteer role for 13 years.

“This year’s stellar group of finalists consists of loyal longtime NASCAR fans who also are outstanding people,” said The NASCAR Foundation Chairman Mike Helton. “Each of these individuals demonstrates, on a daily basis, true commitment and passion for their causes. Their good works are exactly the sort of volunteerism Betty Jane France wanted to spotlight, when the award was created.”

Since the award’s inception, The NASCAR Foundation has impacted the lives of more than 260,000 children by providing more than $1.2 million in contributions to charities represented by finalists for the award.

To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and to cast your vote for the 2018 finalists, visit NASCARfoundation.org/Award.

NASCAR America: Four finalists for Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award announced

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Betty Jane France passed away last August.

But the wife of the late Bill France Jr. and mother of NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy left a legacy that will go on for decades to come.

France and the NASCAR Foundation established the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2011 to honor NASCAR fans that have made profound impacts upon their community through volunteerism.

The four finalists for the seventh annual Humanitarian Award were announced today.

They are:

  • Shannon Goldwater, Scottsdale, Ariz., founder of Feeding Matters, which specializes in pediatric feeding issues. Said Goldwater, “No children or family will have to suffer the way my children did for so many years.”
  • Julian Maha, Vestavia Hills, Ala., founder of KultureCity. Oldest son suffers from autism. Said Maha, “The mission is to rethink accessibility in order to create a world of acceptance and inclusion for individuals with unique abilities.”
  • Tammy Richardson, Las Vegas, Nev., volunteer for the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. Lost her daughter to cancer. Said Richardson, “Every kid in Nevada that comes to Camp Cartwheel, I get to meet. I started a store, I give away toys, I get to be happy, I get to make a difference in the life of a child.”
  • Chante Gonzalez Vido, Jamul, Calif., founded the Seany Foundation. Is a two-time cancer survivor. Said Vido, “The experience my counselors have given me, I was ready to give that to the next generation of campers.”

One of the four will receive $100,000 to further their efforts in their particular voluntary effort. The winner will be named Nov. 30 as part of the NASCAR Cup Awards weekend in Las Vegas.

Fans are encouraged to go to NASCAR.com/Award to view video vignettes of the four finalists and to cast a vote for which finalist they’d like to see win the award. Voting is open now and continues through Nov. 29.

Since the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2011, the NASCAR Foundation has donated more than $1 million to charities across the country.

NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, who stopped by Thursday’s show, spoke highly of the Foundation’s efforts.

“It’s appropriate it’s named after Betty Jane France,” Helton said. “She really took the first lady role of our sport serious and she guided our culture.

“As much as what we do on the racetrack, she was always behind the scenes making sure NASCAR and all the members of NASCAR, particularly the employees of NASCAR, were good community citizens. It’s appropriate to perpetuate her name in this sport. She was a great lady.”

 

Andy Hoffman awarded Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award during The NASCAR Foundation inaugural Honors Gala

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The NASCAR Foundation held its first Honors Gala Tuesday night in New York and raised $1.6 million while Andy Hoffman was awarded the sixth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.

Proceeds from the event will benefit children hospitalized around the country through the Speediatrics Children’s Fund. The NASCAR Foundation has donated more than $25 million and reached one million children since 2006.

The France family hosted the gala in tribute of Betty Jane France, who passed away on Aug. 29. Betty Jane France is the namesake of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide. It is awarded to the NASCAR fan who makes an impact on children in their community. An online fan vote determines the winner.

Hoffman, the Founder of the Team Jack Foundation, started his cause after his son was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer. He will receive a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation. Through his work, Hoffman has raised $3 million since 2011 to bring awareness to the disease.

Tuesday night’s Honors Gala was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work that all four finalists have been doing in their communities – work that will have a lasting impact on the thousands of people their foundations have helped,” said Brad Barnett, associate vice president of Media & Sports Marketing for Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, in a NASCAR release. “Nationwide congratulates Andy Hoffman on winning the award. Thank you to all of our finalists for making a difference and being an inspiration to us all.”

Each of the other three finalists will receive a $25,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation. The finalists were Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday’s Children, Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla’s Voice, and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings.

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The nominations for NASCAR’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

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The four nominations for the NASCAR Foundation’s sixth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award were announced Wednesday night on NASCAR America on NBCSN.

The award, named after the executive vice president and assistant treasurer of NASCAR, is presented to a NASCAR fan who is a volunteer that “dedicates themselves to children’s causes in their communities.”

The winner will be determined by an online vote that ends  Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET. The award will be presented Sept. 27 at the Foundation’s inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City

The Foundation will donate a total of $175,000 to the charities represented by the four finalists, with a $100,000 donation going to the winner’s charity.

“The body of work by this year’s four finalists reflects an impressive level of commitment to improving the lives of children,” said France in a press release. “Their accomplishments likewise reflect The NASCAR Foundation’s fundamental ideals and what the Foundation strives to achieve on a daily basis. All four finalists are wonderful representatives of our award process and of the NASCAR community.”

Here are bios for the four nominees.

Jim Giaccone, Tuesday’s Children: Giaccone lost his older brother, Joseph, in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.  Giaccone determined quickly that the best way to honor his brother was by assisting others – especially children – who also were affected by the tragedy. That led to Giaccone’s involvement with Tuesday’s Children, an organization founded in 2001 and dedicated to providing long-term support to those directly impacted by the events of 9/11 and other communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. Jim is involved with many aspects of Tuesday’s Children including raising funds, serving on the Mentoring Advisory Board, serving on the Family Advisory Board and his most significant contribution: serving as a mentor.

Andy Hoffman, Team Jack Foundation: In 2011, Hoffman’s world was turned upside down when his son, Jack, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Hoffman soon learned that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer – surgery and chemotherapy – were more than 30 years old. He also learned that less than four percent of federal funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research each year. One year after the diagnosis, Hoffman made t-shirts as a fundraiser for children’s brain cancer research; through his efforts he was able to sell 20,000 shirts and raise more than $300,000. Inspired by that success, Hoffman and his wife formed Team Jack Foundation in January 2013. The foundation raises money to fund pediatric brain cancer research and works to create national awareness for the disease.

Logan Houptley, Mikayla’s Voice: Houptley met a young lady named Mikayla Resh in his third-grade classroom after moving to a new school district in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Mikayla had profound multiple disabilities that included brain damage, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, along with facing the challenges of being blind and deaf.  At only 10 years old, Logan was incredibly understanding and accepting, treating Mikayla with love, kindness, and inclusion. Ten years after they met, Logan has continued his friendship with Mikayla, in the process helping create Mikayla’s Voice. Founded in 2010, the organization is dedicated to inspiring children and young adults to embrace individuals of all abilities. The organization promotes cultural change by teaching communities about the importance of inclusion and acceptance.

Parker White, BackPack Beginnings: White founded BackPack Beginnings in 2010, driven by a compassion for families struggling to provide for their children on a daily basis. With two young children of her own, Parker understood a mother’s desire to see her child be happy and successful.  But she also knew that not every family has the means to put enough food on the table or provide basic necessities for their children. That led White to establish BackPack Beginnings, which strives to provide children in the Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina areas with nutritious food, clothing, and other basic necessities. BackPack Beginnings works with local schools to open food and clothing pantries, donate backpacks filled with blankets and school supplies, and provide comfort and hygiene items to children in need.

 

Jeff Hanson awarded NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

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The NASCAR Foundation awarded Jeff Hanson its fifth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Friday night at Sprint Cup Awards.

Hanson, 22, was one of four finalists voted on by fans at NASCAR.com. Hanson receives a $100,000 donation from the foundation to the charity he represents, the New York-based Children’s Tumor Foundation, and a car from Ford.

“Jeff Hanson’s story is inspiring and his accomplishments are impressive,” said France, who presented the award Friday night. “This is a resilient and immensely talented young man we have become proud to know – and even more proud to have as our fifth annual award winner.”

At the age of 6, Hanson was diagnosed with optic glioma, a tumor that infected his optic nerve. Undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments caused Hanson to go legally blind at the age of 12. Hanson then took up creating paintings with bright colors for people with limited vision. Selling them from his driveway in the summer of 2006, Hanson raised $15,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

“What this means to me … is I’m thrilled, I’m honored,” Hanson said. “It means so much to me, that I can help the Children’s Tumor Foundation with a $100,000 donation.

“Being recognized by such a well-known name as NASCAR is a win for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and for neurofibromatosis, helping to raise awareness of a disorder that affects one in every 3,000 people. The money that we receive from The NASCAR Foundation will be used to launch an exciting new research program aimed at improving the lives of people like me who live with NF and help us get a little closer to finding a cure.”