Kansas City Native Wins 3rd Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award
Don Post Receives $100,000 For Local Charity; Other Three Finalists Receive $25,000
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2013) – The NASCAR Foundation is proud to announce Don Post, event chairman of the March of Dimes Kansas City chapter’s “Bikers for Babies” motorcycle ride, as the winner of the third annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France announced the winner during Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas – the official coronation of 2013 champion Jimmie Johnson.
“Don Post is a hero, pure and simple,” said The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France. “We have so much respect for his accomplishments in the face of personal adversity along with his commitment to helping children who face their own adversity. His story is inspiring, and truly personifies what our award is all about.
“Not only are we honored to present him the third annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, we are honored just to know him.”
In 1980, Post’s life was forever changed when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” and was told he only had three to five years to live. He retired from his professional job, and despite the ALS diagnosis, he embarked on a 33-year mission of donating his time and talent to charities in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Post has served on boards of directors and executive committees for a number of non-profit organizations and mentored many young children diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He has been a member on the March of Dimes “Bikers for Babies” motorcycle ride committee for 12 years, and has been the event’s chairman since 2010.
The $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation will be used to help grow and develop existing March of Dimes programs, including research on how to improve the health of newborns, funding for educational initiatives and community programs such as support groups that help parents cope with their baby’s hospitalization, transition home and even death. Post also receives a new 2014 Chevrolet SS from Chevrolet.
In only its third year, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award has donated $525,000 to individuals who are improving children’s lives in their respective communities. With the annual presentation of the award, The NASCAR Foundation’s mission is to honor passionate volunteers and NASCAR fans making an impact with children in their local communities and reflecting the commitment Betty Jane France has demonstrated with her charitable works and community efforts.
“I am truly blessed to be receiving this award from The NASCAR Foundation and I’m even more thrilled to be able to provide $100,000 to the March of Dimes, an organization that is dear to me,” said Post. “The funds will be used to continue the mission of ensuring healthy babies are brought into this world, especially locally in Wyandotte County where premature births and infant mortality rates are above the norm. My love and thanks goes out to all who supported me in this vote.”
Post was chosen as the winner from a group of four finalists by a national fan vote on www.NASCAR.com. The finalists have collectively dedicated 87 years for their charities and impacted nearly 20,000. The volunteers who each received a $25,000 donation to their supporting charities, in recognition of being named as a finalist for the award, are: Duncan Dobie of Marietta, Ga., representing Camp Sunshine; Lisa Hall of Bedford, N.H., supporting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children); and Richard Johnson of St. Johns, Fla., backing The Alpha-1 Foundation. The four finalists were selected by The NASCAR Foundation board of directors from applicants who have made a significant impact on the lives of children through volunteerism or charitable work. The announcement culminated an eight-week period during which the four finalists promoted their causes and asked fans to vote for them to receive the top award.
NASCAR, Swan Racing And Michael Waltrip Partner To Pay Tribute to Newtown, Conn., Community
Waltrip To Drive No. 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota Camry for the DAYTONA 500®; Fans Can Make $10 Donations By Texting NEWTOWN to 80888
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2013) – Using the biggest race of the year as a backdrop, NASCAR, Swan Racing and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip announced today a special tribute to raise awareness and contributions for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
Following a private meeting with town officials, community leaders, first responders and victims’ families last week in Newtown, Conn., NASCAR, Swan Racing and Waltrip announced that the No. 30 Lean1 Swan Racing Toyota will instead garner the No. 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota. Waltrip’s ride for the Daytona 500 (Sunday, Feb. 24 1 p.m. ET on FOX) will honor the 26 victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School and prominently feature a call-to-action decal encouraging the NASCAR community to make $10 donations by texting NEWTOWN to 80888.
The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, established jointly by United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank, supports the healing process for the broader Newtown community including children, teachers, first responders, families, residents, mental health professionals, counselors and others, following the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. One hundred percent of the funds raised for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund go to meet the needs of the Newtown community.
“Americans everywhere are heartbroken about the tragedy in Newtown and Swan Racing is proud to join NASCAR and the United Way of Western Connecticut to help the community move forward,” said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis.
In addition to piloting the No. 26 Newtown car in the Great American Race, Waltrip confirmed today that all three Michael Waltrip Racing entries will run the “text NEWTOWN to 80888” decal for the Daytona 500.
“Driving the No. 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota is like nothing I have ever been part of in my NASCAR career,” Waltrip said. “It will be an emotional week knowing that we have the potential to do so much good for the Newtown community. I’m racing for a reason.”
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France also announced today that he and his wife Amy would personally kick off the NASCAR industry support with a $50,000 donation that will be matched by The NASCAR Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR family and its commitment to serving communities.
“Being in Newtown last week and delivering a moment of happiness to that community was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said France. “Looking out at a room of smiling faces amidst the aftermath of a horrible tragedy was very powerful. It hit me that the NASCAR industry and our passionate fan base have an unbelievable opportunity to rally around this cause and make a huge difference for a community in need. I am excited to witness firsthand the NASCAR community’s embrace and support of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.”
The Sandy Hook School Support Fund recently announced in cooperation with the Newtown Rotary Club Foundation that funds are available to help with the immediate financial and mental health needs for people impacted by the tragic events of Dec. 14.
"One thing I can tell you for sure, is that there will be a whole lot of people in Sandy Hook and Newtown rooting for Michael and the No 26 car," said Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead. "It will be something positive to rally around, and there will be smiles on faces that haven't smiled in quite a while."
The NASCAR community can contribute to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund by texting NEWTOWN to 80888. For fans without short-code texting plans with their wireless carriers, there are two additional opportunities to donate. Donations can also be made online at newtown.uwwesternct.org or by mail to:
Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main Street, Newtown, CT, 06470