Charity Auction to Ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Exceeds Expectations
Wrangler® and JR Motorsports Match Winning Bid to Donate $50K to Kids' Camp
Greensboro, N.C. (Nov. 8, 2006) -- Ending a five-day eBay charity auction hosted by the Wrangler® brand last week, a generous thrill-seeker bid $25,100 for the chance to ride with NASCAR-driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Joining in the philanthropic spirit, Wrangler and JR Motorsports partnered to match the winning bid, bringing the total donation to $50,200. Benefiting the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a racing-themed camp for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, the combined contribution is enough for 25 children to attend a full week at no cost to their families.
The Wrangler-hosted auction, which was on eBay's "Most Watched List" for three days, began late the night of Friday, Oct. 27 and bidding jumped to $15,000 by Saturday afternoon. When the bidding war ended Wednesday, Nov. 1 (with 128,000 hits), Mark Shipman of Cleburne, Texas, had won the ride of a lifetime -- three adrenaline-infused laps sitting shotgun beside NASCAR's most popular driver. Shelling out the equivalent of more than $8,300 per lap, Shipman was especially pleased when he discovered his $25,100 bid would benefit the VJG Camp.
"My wife and I have long admired the Victory Junction Gang Camp and all they do for children and their families," said Shipman. "It's important for us to donate to children's charities and, as longtime Dale Jr. fans, we knew the Wrangler auction was the perfect opportunity to do so. We're honored to see our donation and the generosity of Wrangler and JR Motorsports help bring happiness to such great kids."
Grateful for the unexpected contributions, Kyle Petty, co-founder of Victory Junction said, "We were thrilled when Wrangler told us they wanted to use their partnership with Dale Jr. to find a way to help the camp. We hoped the auction would yield big results, like Mr. Shipman's generous bid, but the heartfelt match by Wrangler and JR Motorsports is icing on the cake."
Since 2005, the Wrangler brand has helped raise more than $100,000 for charity by working in cooperation with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and partner organizations. Last year, Wrangler and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation auctioned a similar experience for more than $42,000 to benefit the American Red Cross and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief efforts. And earlier this year, Wrangler donated a ride with Dale Jr. to the Cancer Challenge, a non-profit organization that raises funds for health organizations in northwest Arkansas, and helped raise $9,000 to support programs and services designed around the early detection, prevention, diagnosis, research and treatment of cancer.
"Wrangler is proud to partner with Mr. Shipman and JR Motorsports to make such a generous donation to this amazing camp," said Craig Errington, marketing director, Wrangler. "For a family oriented, all-American brand like Wrangler, it's great to be able to support an organization that does so much for kids and their families from all over the country."
The Wrangler brand has a long-standing relationship with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and the Earnhardt family, dating back to the 1980's when Dale Earnhardt drove the legendary blue and yellow Wrangler car. Since 2004 Wrangler Jeans Co.TM has reigned as the official jeans of Dale Jr. and the #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. racing team.
JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is a professional race team located in Mooresville, N.C. The organization operates multiple race teams and competes within the NASCAR Busch Series, the USAR Hooters Series and late model stock cars. www.jrmotorsport.com.
About Victory Junction Gang Camp
The mission of the Victory Junction Gang Camp is to enrich the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment. Founded by NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and his wife Pattie in honor of their late son Adam, the Victory Junction Gang Camp is a year-round facility serving children, age 7 to 15. Each summer, an average of 1,500 children suffering from similar medical conditions including heart, lung and kidney disease, spina bifida, HIV, cancer, burn survivors, neurological disorders, and a host of others, gather to kick back, relax and have some fun. The camp offers traditional activities, including horseback riding, boating and fishing, arts and crafts and others, as well as NASCAR related program areas.
The Victory Junction Gang Camp is a member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps and is free to children and their families. The camp operates solely on the generous donations of individuals, corporations and foundations. For more information, visit www.victoryjunction.org.
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation is a leader in branded lifestyle apparel including jeanswear, outdoor products, intimate apparel, image apparel and sportswear. Its principal brands include Wranglerâ, Leeâ, Ridersâ, Rustlerâ, The North Faceâ, Vansâ, Reefâ, Napapijriâ, Kiplingâ, Nauticaâ, John Varvatosâ, JanSportâ, Eastpakâ, Vanity Fairâ, Vassaretteâ, Bestformâ, Lily of Franceâ, Lee Sportâ and Red Kapâ.
VF Corporation's press releases, annual report and other information can be accessed through the Company's home page, www.vfc.com.