The National Motorsports Press Association announced Thursday that Ryan and Krissie Newman’s Rescue Ranch has been selected as recipient of the fourth quarter Pocono Spirit Award.
The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
Rescue Ranch, a non-profit organization, was formed in October 2014 by Ryan and Krissie Newman. It’s mission is to promote, through education, respect for all animals, as well as, agricultural, environmental, and wildlife conservation and facilitates rehabilitation, rescue and responsible pet ownership.
Krissie Newman and Rescue Ranch rescued animals from the recent devastation of Hurricane Florence.
Other nominees for the award were Petty’s Garage/Richard Petty Motorsports and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.
NASCAR community helps those impacted by Hurricane Florence
T-shirts featuring a specially designed United 2Gether design will also be available for purchase for $25. For every T-shirt purchased, Brad and Paige Keselowski will purchase a T-shirt to send to a first responder in the impacted areas.
“We’re doing what we can, and I don’t think there’s any one person that can do everything but everybody can do a little bit of something,” Brad Keselowski, who has won the past three Cup races, said Friday at Richmond Raceway.
“Even though that hurricane hit that area you kind of think the worst is over but it’s actually getting worse. So with that in mind, with the flooding, everything, continuing to increase, those guys are in a lot of dire need and it’s nice to see some other people join in. Ryan Newman’s foundation (and his wife) Krissie Newman was out there and doing some things. We’ve got some stuff we’re doing to help them and then we have a number of programs from clothing to food trucks and gas to try to help those people out.
“Darlington (Raceway) helped out, Talladega Speedway has helped out a little bit. We have raised about $40,000 so far, which has been good. Paige and I are making some donations as well and matching some donations from our fans. So we’re really proud of that. We are hopeful that will make an impact and help some people that are really in a bad spot.’’
Newman’s wife, Krissie, has been in areas affected by the hurricane with Rescue Ranch (the non-profit animal welfare organization founded by the Newmans) rescuing animals.
The NASCAR Foundation announced Friday that it has partnered with Feed the Children to provide aid and relief to the victims of Hurricane Florence. Trucks filled with food, hygiene products and cleaning supplies are deployed in needed areas beginning with Belhaven, North Carolina.
The NASCAR Foundation also has launched a hurricane disaster relief donation page that provides NASCAR fans with one place to make donations to the many affected by Florence and its aftermath. All of the financial contributions made at www.nascarfoundation.org/hurricane will be used toward storm relief efforts.
NASCAR Cup star Ryan Newman, a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, celebrated his 40th birthday earlier this month in a memorable way by being named the 2017 Coca-Cola Chug for Charity Champion. It’s the second time Newman has won the competition, having done so also in 2010.
Since then, the driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has raised more than $430,000 for various causes through the Chug Charity program, which was established in 2002.
Drivers in the Coca-Cola Racing Family earn points for “chugs” of icy cold Coca-Cola whenever they are at a racetrack. The driver with the most chugs/points earn a donation to his/her preferred charity in his/her name, and the driver with the largest donation is declared Chug For Charity Champion.
By being named Chug champ, Newman will receive a sizeable donation from Coca-Cola to Rescue Ranch, a North Carolina charity that he runs along with his wife Krissie. Rescue Ranch promotes responsible pet ownership through education, agricultural, environmental and wildlife conservation, facilitates rehabilitation and rescue.
Since 2002, Coca-Cola has donated more than $3 million to various charities on behalf of Coca-Cola Racing Family members. Past Coca-Cola Chug for Charity Champions since 2010 have been:
Krissie Newman said they were looking to add a playground to make school field trips there more of a full-day experience. As they looked into such playgrounds, she met Kendra Wood, an autism teacher at Lake Norman High School, and talked to occupational therapists who provided tips on how to make a playground inclusive for all children.
“We always look for field trips to get out in the community in any sort and this is a great place,’’ Wood said. “Now that they added the playground to it, we can do an outdoor component as well.’’
That’s important because many playgrounds are not as accessible for all children.
“Playgrounds usually aren’t fun for us,’’ Wood said. “We can’t do anything. We can do pretty much everything (here). It’s such a different thing for us, but a great thing, something that I wish other communities would come and look at and try to emulate.’’
The $550,000 playground, which is 10,000 square feet, is named the Earnhardt Family Playground.
A sign says: “To honor our commitment to children and passion for nature, the Earnhardt Family dedicates this playground to Rescue Ranch to support the needs of our community and further its mission for the benefit of those who come and play here. Generations of our family have supported youth, nature and conservation, and the combination of all three. The Earnhardt Family is proud to support this inclusive playground and the hope and joy it will provide for generations to come.’’
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said the family was invited by the Newmans to visit and learn about the ranch. That led to the family supporting the playground. Others who contributed to the playground included Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin Foundation, Evernham Family Racing for a Reason, Kevin Harvick Foundation, Brennan Poole, Marcus and Cassi Smith, Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and the NASCAR Foundation.
“It was a real good opportunity for us to get involved in our community,’’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “We look for opportunities to get involved in the community and make a difference in the community and this is a really, really incredible place.’’
There’s more Krissie Newman wants to do from building a pavilion at the playground, an adoption center, a memorial garden and a 24-hour emergency vet clinic.
“I’ve got big plans for this place,’’ she said. “I’m just starting.
“We want to teach kids and have them have fun while they’re here, have a good experience and hopefully take a little bit of Rescue Ranch away and make it part of their story. A lot of people remember where they went on field trips as a kid. I want Rescue Ranch to be one of those places in the future where they learned how to take care of animals better, respect the environment and just have a different level of compassion and empathy for living things in general.’’
Earnhardt and his wife, Amy, spent time Saturday at Ryan Newman’s Rescue Ranch. The 87-acre facility in Statesville, North Carolina, was founded in 2012 by Newman and his wife Krissie. The ranch is dedicated to educating people about “animal, agricultural, environmental and wildlife conservation.”
Earnhardt got a close up look at the animals the program works with, including birds, hedgehogs, cows, and of course, giant rabbits.
Here’s a look at the Earnhardt’s day at the ranch. Beware of snakes.