Hendrick Marrow Program and Little Smiles newest additions

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 4, 2010) – The Hendrick Marrow Program (Concord, N.C.) and Little Smiles (Wellington, Fla.) have been selected as the final two charities to be featured on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Samsung Helmet of Hope at Auto Club Speedway in October.

Each organization will also receive a grant of $10,000.

Greg Bailey, of Charlotte, N.C.’s WCNC-TV, nominated the Hendrick Marrow Program and its Transplant Grants for Kids program.  The Hendrick Marrow Program is part of the Be The Match Foundation® , which raises money to add more potential marrow donors to the National Marrow Donor Program Be The Match Registry®, and  helps patients pay for some uninsured transplant costs, which are often a barrier to treatment.

“Marrow donors save children’s lives,” said Bailey. “Every year the Hendrick Marrow Program unites anonymous donors with the children they save. This year the featured donor told us, ‘Everyone is thanking me. I would like to thank YOU for showing me the true meaning of life.’ With support and attention, The Hendrick Marrow Program can save more lives and reach more people every year.”

Kimberly Kramp of Naples, Fla. nominated Little Smiles, whose mission is to help children escape their everyday pain and allow them to be a kid again, even if it’s for a short period of time. It responds to the needs of the children and provides whatever it can to make their day a little brighter.

“I work at (a restaurant) in Naples, Fla. and every year we have a month long fundraiser where 100% of our collections go to the Little Smiles,” explained Kramp. “The money we give goes to help kids in our own community.

“This past week one of our favorite kids from Little Smiles passed away from bone marrow cancer,” continued Kramp. “He was a huge NASCAR fan and an even bigger Jimmie Johnson fan. I think that it would be great to give him the honor of having his organization that has given him so much for his short life be on Jimmie’s helmet. I think even though he passed away it would give the angels something to smile down on.”

In its third year, the Samsung Helmet of Hope program is a partnership of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Samsung and Lowe’s.  Fans and media members across the country have the opportunity to nominate their children’s charity of choice to be featured on Johnson’s helmet for a select race.  New this year, selected charities will also receive a grant of $10,000.  This partnership is part of the Samsung Hope for Children program, a corporate giving program that aligns athletes and retail partners to help children learn, live and thrive.

The final lineup for the Samsung Helmet of Hope includes: Beads of Courage (Tucson, Ariz.), Hunter’s Hope Foundation (Orchard Park, N.Y.), Foundation for Faces of Children (Brookline, Mass.), The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (Santa Barbara, Calif.), The Racingawareness.com Foundation (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Care Ring (Charlotte, N.C.), Birthday Blessings (Charlotte, N.C.), Cookies for Cancer (Califon, N.J.), Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (Charlotte, N.C.) and the YWCA of San Diego County (San Diego, Calif.). They join the Feeding America® Kids Café program, which was nominated by Samsung to kick-off this year’s campaign program.  The Kids Café program works to address the growing epidemic facing children’s hunger.

For more information about the most recently selected charities, visit www.hendrickmarrowprogram.org and www.littlesmiles.org.

If you are interested in doing a story on Samsung Helmet of Hope or need more information, please contact Tara Gudger at tgudger@gmrmarketing.com or 704-714-4155.