Elliott Sadler's Hoops for Autism research

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"M&M's"® Hoops for Hope with Elliott Sadler. NASCAR Winston Cup driver to raise money for Autism research with charitable basketball game on May 15, 2003. HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (April 4, 2003) -- Hundreds of thousands of families live each day...

"M&M's"® Hoops for Hope with Elliott Sadler.
NASCAR Winston Cup driver to raise money for Autism research with charitable basketball game on May 15, 2003.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (April 4, 2003) -- Hundreds of thousands of families live each day with Autism, including some in the NASCAR Winston Cup garage area. Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 "M&M's"® Ford, knows full well the affects Autism has on a family. Sadler's niece and brother Hermie's daughter, Halie Dru, was diagnosed with the disability in 2001. Halie has inspired her Uncle Elliott to support Autism research, and this year he's come up with a creative and fun way to raise some much needed funds.

"M&M's"® Hoops For Hope with Elliott Sadler is a charitable basketball game set for May 15, 2003 at Halton Arena on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The game will pair NASCAR drivers and other local celebrities with members of the motorsports media pool in a one-hour shootout. Sadler, the all-time leading scorer for his high school basketball team in hometown Emporia, Va., will certainly practice his jump shot in preparation.

"M&M's knew my interests when we signed up together. When the idea of a charity basketball game to benefit the Autism Society of America came up I immediately jumped on board," explained Elliott Sadler. "Autism is something that hits really close to home for me because my niece, Halie is autistic. I've seen her progress from a social and developmental standpoint in the time she's been attending the Faison School for Autism in Richmond. That encourages me and my family to help her and others with this complex developmental disability. This basketball game will give NASCAR stars a chance to help others and April is National Autism Awareness Month so this is a great time to announce our intentions."

All proceeds from "M&M's"® Hoops for Hope with Elliott Sadler will go the Autism Society of America to fund research and the search for a cure. Artie Kempner, Coordinating Director of NASCAR on FOX, is on the ASA board and will take part in the event.

"This is a tremendous event for the autism community in that it will not only raise money, but more importantly, raise awareness and better educate people about autism," said Kempner.

"As the parent of a son with autism, I see the challenges that this disorder presents on a daily basis. I am so impressed with "M&Ms", Elliott and the NASCAR family in their commitment to help fund research efforts to find a cause, and eventually a cure for autism."

"M&M's"® was happy to support their driver's charitable initiative and has signed on to underwrite the cost of the event.

"We are happy to take part in such an exciting event for a great cause," said Scott Hudler of Masterfoods USA. "We knew of Elliott's charitable interests and wanted to take help him raise money for his cause. The game is going to be very exciting and I think we should get a tremendous response."

Drivers scheduled to appear in addition to Elliott Sadler include Hermie Sadler, Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Tony Raines, Jamie McMurray and Dale Jarrett. Tickets will go on sale April 7th, 2003 at UNCC Halton Arena box office by calling 1-866-MYTICKET to charge over the phone.

Doors will open at 5:30pm with an autograph session with Elliott and Hermie Sadler. The session will be limited to the first 250 people in line who receive wrist bands. The basketball game will start at 7:00pm along with a halftime "Shoot for Loot" show.

For more details please go to www.mmsmotorsports.com or www.SadlerFanClub.com, or call 704.595.0118.

-ryr/m&m-

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Series CHARITY , NASCAR-CUP