Beads of Courage and Hunter’s Hope Foundation first selected charities

CONCORD, N.C. (July 23, 2010) – Three-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson drew the first two children’s charities for the Samsung Helmet of Hope Friday at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Beads of Courage (Tucson, Ariz.) and Hunter’s Hope Foundation (Orchard Park, N.Y.) will be the first two charities to grace the helmet, which Johnson will wear in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Auto Club Speedway in October

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

Becca Gladden of Insider Racing News nominated Beads of Courage, an organization that provides innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with cancer and other serious illness, their families, and the health care providers who care for them.

“Beads of Courage is a unique art therapy program for children going through difficult and painful medical treatments for serious illnesses,” said Gladden. “Children collect colorful beads for each treatment milestone in the areas of cancer, cardiac conditions, burn injuries, and other serious illnesses. The beads serve as meaningful symbols of courage for children and tell a story of strength, honor and hope.”

“As a relatively new charity (founded in 2005) Beads of Courage would benefit greatly from being featured on Jimmie’s helmet to raise awareness of this very special and worthy cause,” added Gladden.
Beverly Bolam of Niagara Falls, N.Y. nominated the Hunter’s Hope Foundation, which helps children with Krabbe and other Leukodystrophies.

“The Hunter’s Hope Foundation was founded in 1997 by NFL Pro Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and his wife Jill after their only son was diagnosed with Krabbe,” explained Bolam. “They have come a long way in helping children and their families but still have a long way to go.

“I am a volunteer with the Foundation and have watched the tremendous progress they have made.  Their son Hunter passed away on August 5, 2005 but the Kellys continue to fight for every child with these diseases. The Kellys utmost goal is to find a cure.”

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.

Johnson selected the first two charities Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will draw one winner from a list of media submissions and one from a list of fan submissions each race weekend through the Atlanta event in September.  The two charities selected Friday 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

Fans and media members may nominate their charity by visiting www.helmetofhope.org.

For more information about the most recently selected charities, visitwww.beadsofcourage.org and www.huntershope.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.