CHARLOTTE, NC (July 11, 2008) – The NASCAR Foundation announced today that series sponsor Nationwide Insurance has joined the efforts encouraging fans to roll up their sleeves to help save a life for The NASCAR Foundation Third Annual Blood & Marrow Drive Presented by Nationwide Insurance on Sept. 11, 2008.
The drive is a partnership between The NASCAR Foundation, Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Hendrick Marrow Program and 30 NASCAR Nationwide, Sprint Cup and local Home tracks. The largest effort of its kind within the motorsports industry, The NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive has collected enough pints of blood and names for the National Marrow Donor Program® Registry to potentially save more than 17,000 lives since its launch in 2006.
With the addition of NASCAR Official Partner Nationwide Insurance, the Drive hopes to eventually expand its reach so that every NASCAR fan is able to find a participating location nearby on Sept. 11. In an effort to further increase the number of potential lives saved, Nationwide will hold drives at two of their corporate offices in Columbus, OH and Des Moines, IA.
“Nationwide Insurance and our Foundation have a proud tradition of supporting causes that help people who are in critical or immediate need,” said John Aman, Jr., AVP of Strategic Sponsorship at Nationwide. “That’s why the opportunity to support The NASCAR Foundation’s Blood and Marrow Drive was a natural fit for Nationwide. The true gift comes when a donor is identified and has the opportunity to share the gift of life with a stranger in need. I have no doubt NASCAR fans will embrace this opportunity.” In addition to corporate support from Nationwide Insurance, the Nationwide Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to the Marrow Foundation in support of the Hendrick Marrow Program to support marrow typing, which costs approximately $52 per person. Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, founded the Hendrick Marrow Program in 1997.
“We are proud to partner with The NASCAR Foundation and Jimmie Johnson Foundation in this effort to add more members to the NMDP Registry,” Hendrick said. “The generosity of the Nationwide Foundation and Nationwide Insurance has allowed us to increase our goals for this year’s event and ultimately give more patients a second chance at life.”
Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson will once again serve as the official spokesperson for the Drive.
“It has been incredible to watch the drive grow over the past two years,” said Johnson, co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. “Each year, we have been able to add more tracks to the program. This will be our biggest drive yet. It is amazing how everyone is able to come together on one day to make such a huge impact.”
In 2007, The NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive collected 3,410 pints of blood and added 1,031 new members the National Donor Program Registry from 24 participating tracks. Every year the Drive mobilizes some of NASCAR’s biggest players – tracks, teams and sponsors – in an effort to try and meet the desperate need for blood donations and National Marrow Donor Program Registry members. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day and approximately 6,000 people every day are searching for a marrow match.
“We are very proud of how The NASCAR Foundation has been able to engage the entire industry in this important project in just two short years,” said Mike Helton, president of NASCAR and The NASCAR Foundation. “We believe that Nationwide Insurance’s participation in this effort will only help to increase our visibility and reach, thereby saving more lives.”
To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation Third Annual Blood & Marrow Drive Presented by Nationwide Insurance or to find a participating track near you visitWWW.NASCAR.COM/foundation.
About The NASCAR Foundation
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., (NASCAR) launched The NASCAR Foundation in January 2006. The Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and its commitment to serving communities. The Foundation supports a wide range of charitable initiatives that reflect the core values of the entire NASCAR Family. The NASCAR Foundation will use strength of the sport and its people to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. For more information on The NASCAR Foundation, please visit the website:www.nascar.com/foundation.
About Nationwide Insurance/ Nationwide Foundation
The Nationwide Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from Nationwide companies. Founded in 1959, the Nationwide Foundation has committed more than $190 million since 2000 to help nonprofit organizations in communities where Nationwide associates and their families live and work. Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
About Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006. Johnson, the two- 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 $1.7 million to various charities. For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visitwww.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.
About Hendrick Marrow Program
Rick Hendrick established the Hendrick Marrow Program as a fund of The Marrow Foundation in 1997 following his diagnosis with leukemia. Although Mr. Hendrick never required a marrow transplant, he is committed to supporting the thousands of Americans who search the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry every day in hope of finding a lifesaving marrow donor. The Hendrick Marrow Program’s goals are to raise funds to support donor recruitment drives across the country and to assist patients with uninsured transplant-related expenses.
For additional information, contact:
Sarah Newman, The NASCAR Foundation, 704/348-9656 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Sullivan, NASCAR, 704/348-9613 or email@example.com
Lisa Cox, Nationwide Insurance, 336/682-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org