NASCAR Foundation news 2008-12-17

NASCAR Driver And Daytona Beach Resident Mike Skinner Visits Local Speediatrics Unit International Speedway Corporation And NASCAR Representatives Surprise Young Patients At Halifax Health Medical Center DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2008)...

NASCAR Driver And Daytona Beach Resident Mike Skinner Visits Local Speediatrics Unit

International Speedway Corporation And NASCAR Representatives Surprise Young Patients At Halifax Health Medical Center

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2008) -- Several of Halifax Health Medical Center's pediatric patients got a special treat today when NASCAR driver Mike Skinner and his wife Angie, along with members of the Speedway Ambassadors, showed up to the Speediatrics Unit bearing gifts and holiday cheer.

Halifax Health -- Betty Jane France Center for Pediatrics-Speediatrics -- is a 36-bed unit that cares for more than 2,000 children annually, with another 400 or more receiving critical care in the area's only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The Speediatrics environment provides a much-needed diversion to young patients undergoing intensive treatments, taking away the intimidation factor that often comes with hospital visits. Speediatrics provides the colorful thrills of auto racing, making hospital stays more comfortable for young patients.

NASCAR Driver Mike Skinner credits Betty Jane France and the dedicated people around her for making the Speediatrics Unit at Halifax Health Medical Center very special.

"It's really amazing that years ago, Betty Jane had this vision and she wrapped her arms around it. The unit really makes the hospital stay for a child the best that it can be," Mike said. "It's nice to be home for the holidays and give the young patients something to smile about."

Volunteering with Mike and Angie Skinner were representatives from the Speedway Ambassadors. The Speedway Ambassadors is an organization made up of about 20 speedway employees who donate time to decorate the pediatric unit and visit with the children during various holidays throughout the year. Donna Sue Sanders, International Speedway Corporation's Director of Community & Local Governmental Affairs, coordinates visits to Speediatrics.

"I look forward to entertaining and handing out goodies to the children every time we visit Speediatrics," she said. "But I'm particularly excited this time because Mike and Angie Skinner will be participating with us." Speediatrics is a member of The NASCAR Foundation Family of Charities. The NASCAR Foundation initiates a wide range of annual and ongoing fundraising efforts to support Speediatrics; NASCAR drivers and other personalities from the sport are frequent visitors to Speediatrics units and Speediatrics is an important part of the entire NASCAR community's commitment to helping others.

As part of that commitment, The NASCAR Foundation has donated more than $160,000 to Speediatrics in 2008, bringing our total to over $450,000 to Speediatrics since 2006. These contributions are made possible in part by funds raised through the participation of many great businesses in the Daytona Beach area, with Daytona International Speedway's outstanding fundraising efforts leading the way and continuing to involve more and more community members in the program each year. The Foundation's largest fundraiser of the year, NASCAR Day is an annual charitable celebration of the NASCAR spirit. On NASCAR Day fans, corporations, schools and organizations across the country donate $5 to receive a collectable NASCAR Day lapel pin. To date, NASCAR Day has raised over $5 million for charitable causes.

"The Halifax Health Foundation greatly values the relationship we have with the NASCAR community," Halifax Health -- Foundation Executive Director Joe Petrock said. "We look forward to supporting future NASCAR Days and other community efforts."

To learn more about Speediatrics or Halifax Health visit halifaxhealth.org.

For More Information: Salina Wang, Halifax Health Public Relations Manager, 386.947.4682 or salina.wang@halifax.org Tom Sullivan, Business Communications Manager, 704-348-9613 or tsullivan@nascar.com

Halifax Health Building on an 80-year history of exceptional medical diagnostic and treatment services in East Central Florida, Halifax Health is ranked among the top 5% of all hospitals in the nation for clinical outcomes. Within an expanding network of specialized healthcare services at Halifax Health is a tertiary hospital, community hospital, psychiatric services, a cancer treatment center with four outreach locations, the area's largest hospice, and Florida's largest Emergency Department (opening 2009). Halifax Health offers the area's only Level II Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Pediatric Emergency Department, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Services, and Neurosurgical Services. Widely recognized for its outstanding medical staff and leading-edge technology, Halifax Health consistently receives top statewide and national ratings for its specialties, including orthopedics, spinal surgery, stroke services, vascular services, and cardiology. In 2008, the organization was also ranked No. 2 among the Top 100 Companies for Working Families (Orlando Sentinel). Halifax Health is a legislatively-chartered taxing organization, governed by a Board of Commissioners appointed by the Governor of Florida. For more information, visit www.halifaxhealth.org.

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. Since 2006, The NASCAR Foundation has donated nearly $1.4 Million to charitable organizations in Florida. 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.

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Series CHARITY , NASCAR