CONCORD, N.C. (July 8, 2011) – Victory Junction and Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central & Western N.C. Chapter have been selected to be featured on the 2011 Helmet of Hope, which Johnson will wear in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway in September.
Each organization will also receive a grant of $10,000.
Rutledge Wood of SPEED and Top Gear USA on the History Channel nominated Victory Junction, which was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son, Adam. The camp provides life changing experiences for kids with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
“Victory Junction, quite simply, is the happiest place on earth,” explained Wood on his nomination form. “I’ve never been to a place that’s so filled with love and hope as VJ is. The fact that it was designed for every child visitor to be able to do everything from the zip line to the swimming pool shows that in kids eyes, they’re all just kids. Not kids with diseases or illnesses, just kids. That’s why I love Victory Junction.”
Nicole Pearson of Matthews, N.C. nominated Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Western N.C. Chapter, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
“I have seen children’s eyes light up with the idea of going to Disney World or Hawaii or on a cruise instead of to hospitals or doctor’s appointments,” offered Pearson. “I have felt parent’s tears upon seeing their sick child receive that one special item they have always wanted. I have received hugs from happy kids when they are too sick or tired to get out of bed. I have letters and cards thanking me for giving them something to look forward to when they complete their treatments. There is no better charity than the one that grants wishes for children who need some hope, who need some strength and who need some joy at a time in their lives when there doesn’t seem to be any.”
In its fourth year, the Helmet of Hope program gives fans and media members across the country the opportunity to nominate their charity of choice to be featured on Johnson’s helmet for a select race. Each charity also receives a grant of $10,000. To date, the program has contributed close to $200,000 to 37 different charities.
Johnson will draw one winner from a list of media submissions and one from a list of fan submissions each race weekend through the New Hampshire event in July. Victory Junction and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Western, N.C. Chapter join the Family Crisis Resource Center of Cumberland, Md. , Conquer Chiari, 24 Hours of Booty, the Flagler County Education Foundation, Lollipop Theater Network, the Tennessee Chapter of the ALS Association, the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and Els for Autism as charities that will be featured on the Helmet of Hope. The American Red Cross, which was placed on the helmet to kick off the event in response to recent tragedies across the nation, and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, which the Jimmie Johnson Foundation partners with to fund Champions Grants, which are awarded to K-12 public schools in the hometowns where the Johnsons grew up and currently live, will also be featured.
Fans and media members may nominate their charity by visiting www.helmetofhope.org.