Tim Booth wins Home Depot NMPA 2009 Humanitarian Award

MIS Director of Guest Services receives $100,000 to benefit Sprit of America Blood Drive

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Dec. 3, 2009) -- When his name was called as the winner of the 2009 Home Depot NMPA Humanitarian Award, Michigan International Speedway's Director of Guest Services Tim Booth didn't feel like he had won -- his charity had.

Booth was selected as the winner of the Humanitarian Award ahead of NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, who were also finalists. For receiving the prestigious honor from The Home Depot and National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA), Booth will receive $100,000 that will be donated on his behalf to the Spirit of America Blood Drive.

Booth, Stewart and Biffle were recognized during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brother Awards program in Las Vegas on Thursday. Stewart and Biffle will be awarded $25,000 for their respective charities for being named as finalists.

"Just to have been nominated is truly a great honor, and I am humbled," Booth said. "The reality is this award is not about any one, single nominee or finalist, but rather about donating one's time for a cause that you believe in -- any amount of time and any cause will do. It's about giving, isn't it? So thank you to Home Depot and the NMPA for this great honor, and thank you for supporting my charity. Greg, Tony and I are all winners on our charities' behalves."

Booth was nominated for the Humanitarian Award for his efforts in making the Spirit of America Blood Drive at MIS the nation's largest 9-11 blood drive event. The Spirit of America has collected a grand total of 6,213 units of blood, potentially benefiting 18,639 people since its inception in 2002. (Each unit of blood can be transfused to up to three people.)

Booth has made countless efforts to support various non-profit organizations in his community, but none as much as the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross. His creation of the Spirit of America Blood Drive, which began at MIS in 2002, was a way to honor the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001. The blood drive's success caught the eye of the NASCAR Foundation, which has since created the NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive, which is hosted at 30 race tracks across the country on September 11.

Booth is also a regular blood donor who has personally given blood 146 times, which amounts to more than 18 gallons in his lifetime.

"Tim is an exceptional person who has a true passion for giving back to his community, and that is what has made the Spirit of American blood drive so successful," said Jamie Bates, production planning manager for the American Red Cross Great Lakes Region.

Those sentiments echoed across all Booth's colleagues when the announcement was made.

"I'm so happy for Tim. His dedication and hard work has made the Spirit of America Blood Drive the successful event it is today and it's nice to see that dedication rewarded. He is very deserving of this honor," MIS President Roger Curtis said.

The finalists for the 2009 Humanitarian Award were selected by the Humanitarian Award Selection Committee comprised of representatives of the NMPA and The Home Depot. All of the nominees were assessed based on their community commitment and dedication, impact on the community and charitable giving of their time and talents. The three nominees with the highest scores were named finalists for the award.

Biffle was nominated for his work in raising awareness to the importance of animal welfare. Establishing the Greg Biffle Foundation in 2005, Biffle's work has lead to more than 200 animal welfare agencies in the United States receiving financial assistance which has allowed the receiving agencies to better care for sheltered animals. Biffle is active in the fund raising, support and publicity for the foundation and serves as the national spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League's Spay USA which is a nationwide network and referral service for affordable spay/neuter services.

Stewart was nominated for his annual event Prelude to the Dream which supports injured and fallen service members and their families. Stewart launched the annual event in 2005 and it has grown in stature and notoriety every year. The event includes participation from the world's top drivers, an exclusive HBO Pay-Per-View television package and a sold-out race event. The 2009 Prelude brought 25 world-class drivers to a short-track shootout in an effort to raise money. Proceeds from the event were used to help organizations such as Wounded Warriors, Operation Homefront, Intrepid Fund and Fisher House.

The NMPA Home Depot Humanitarian Award was established in 2007. The inaugural Humanitarian Award winner was Don Miller, a former Penske Racing executive. Miller started the Stock-for-Tots program as a holiday event to collect toys and raise funds for Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN). Richard Childress, president and CEO of Childress Racing, won the 2008 edition of the Humanitarian Award. Childress established the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2008. Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death for children in the United States, and the Childress Institute focuses on research, education, treatment, prevention and raising awareness of childhood injuries.

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,238 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. In fiscal 2008, The Home Depot had sales of $71.3 billion and earnings from continuing operations of $2.3 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It's the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2010 will go to customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. New customers can log onto www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing for 2010.

-credit: mis