NASCAR Champion and wife award grants in hometowns in California, North Carolina and Oklahoma

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 30, 2009) – On the heels of winning his fourth-consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, Jimmie Johnson continues to show he is a champion off the track as well.  Chandra and Jimmie Johnson announced donations totaling $922,000 for the 2009 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grants today.  The foundation received more than 80 applications from eligible school districts in California, North Carolina and Oklahoma.  The selection criteria were based on basic needs of the school.

“It was amazing to review the proposals and read first hand about the pressing needs of our schools.  The funding requests were so diverse,” said Chandra Johnson, co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.  “I am particularly excited about the projects in Oklahoma as this is our first opportunity to give back in my hometown.”

The grants include $347,000 towards science and technology needs, $357,000 for outdoor classrooms, playgrounds and athletic facilities, $27,000 for accelerated reading programs among other programs.

The Johnsons awarded the California grants at a special ceremony today at Jimmie Johnson’s elementary school, Crest Elementary, in El Cajon, Calif.

“This is what the foundation is all about, being able to give back to communities in need.  We are grateful for the partnership with Lowe’s and their guidance as our foundation begins its work in education,” said Johnson, 34, who also attended Greenfield Middle School and Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Calif. “I look forward to visiting some of the schools next year to see the completed projects.”

“We are proud to support the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in its efforts to fulfill basic school needs in the Johnsons’ hometowns,” said Larry D. Stone, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “Jimmie and Chandra Johnson have always shared Lowe’s commitment to giving back to the communities where we live and work, so it was a natural fit to partner with them on this outstanding educational program.”

Grants were awarded to the following schools:

California
·         Chase Avenue Elementary (El Cajon, CA)
·         Crawford High School (San Diego, CA)
·         Crest Elementary (El Cajon, CA)
·         Emerald Middle School (El Cajon, CA)
·         Granite Hills High School (El Cajon, CA)
·         Greenfield Middle School (El Cajon, CA)
·         Johnson Elementary (El Cajon, CA)
·         Magnolia Elementary (El Cajon, CA)
·         Multimedia and Visual Art School (San Diego, CA)
·         Point Loma High School (San Diego, CA)
·         Rios Elementary (San Diego, CA)

North Carolina
·         Ashley Park Elementary (Charlotte, NC)
·         Collinswood Elementary (Charlotte, NC)
·         East Iredell Elementary (Statesville, NC)
·         JH Gunn Elementary School (Charlotte, NC)
·         Metro School (Charlotte, NC)
·         RB McAlister Elementary (Concord, NC)
·         Smithfield Elementary (Charlotte, NC)
·         Third Creek Elementary School (Statesville, NC)
·         University Meadows Elementary School (Charlotte, NC)

Oklahoma
·         Creek Elementary School (Muskogee, OK)
·         Muskogee High School (Muskogee, OK)
·         Pershing Elementary School (Muskogee, OK)
·         Sadler Arts Academy (Muskogee, OK)
·         Tony Goetz Elementary (Muskogee, OK)
·         Tulsa School District (Tulsa, OK)

For a complete list of 2009 grant recipients and projects, click here.

K-12 programs or 501c(3) parent group associations may still apply for a Toolbox for Education grant of up to $5,000 directly at http://www.toolboxforeducation.com/.  The spring cycle closes February 12, 2010. For more information on Toolbox for Education, join their facebook page at www.facebook.com/toolboxforeducation.

About the Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006.  Johnson, the four-time reigning Sprint Cup champion, drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Impala SS in NASCAR’s top series.  The mission of the foundation is to assist children, families, and communities in need throughout the United States.  The foundation has committed more than $3 million to various charities.  For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visitwww.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.

About Lowe’s Toolbox for Education®
Since its inception five years ago, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education ® program has given more than $17.7 million to schools in the United States. This grant program provides parent groups and educators affiliated with K-12 public schools with the financial tools to help improve their children’s schools. At a time when schools and community groups are struggling to make ends meet, the program is currently focusing on basic, one-time project needs. To apply for a grant, visittoolboxforeducation.com.

CONTACT:
Mary Barr, Jimmie Johnson Foundation
704.453.2897

mbarr@jjracinginc.com
Kristine Curley, GMR Marketing
816.679.5091
kcurley@gmrmarketing.com