California's 'Popcorn Man' Joins ExtenZe Racing as Local Hero and Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR Event at Sonoma Ed McClelland doesn't consider himself a hero, but to the troops overseas he is a blessing and a constant reminder that people back...
California's 'Popcorn Man' Joins ExtenZe Racing as Local Hero and Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR Event at Sonoma
Ed McClelland doesn't consider himself a hero, but to the troops overseas he is a blessing and a constant reminder that people back home really do appreciate the sacrifices they make every day.
STATESVILLE, NC (June 15, 2010) - Discovery Bay, CA native Ed McClelland builds docks by day, that is his trade. But when he is not building docks he is making sure that the basic needs civilians take for granted are not overlooked or forgotten for our troops who are far from home and constantly in harms way. Twelve hour workdays leave precious little time, but he makes the most of it knowing the troops he supports by shipping large quantities of the basic needs have it far worse. And for that McClelland has been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will be honored this Father's Day at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 20.
"I have always been patriotic" says McClelland, "and wanted to show my support for the troops, I started off coordinating Pro-Troop Rallies back home with Semi's and Harley's through town." Drawing further inspiration from Vet's of the Vietnam War and seeing how supportive they were to the current troops he realized that there was much more that could be done. At first he assumed what the troops might need and started sending care packages. What he got in return was amazing. Emails came pouring in, thanking him for his kindness, telling him stories of how his single act of compassion raised the morale of the troops and how even this relatively simple gesture impacted the troops lives in a way few could understand. Requests now come and he does his best to fill them. He started calling companies and asking for help, the response he says has been overwhelming.
Affectionately known now as 'The Popcorn Man' because he has sent over five pallets of Pop Secret popcorn in the last 8 months, McClelland was at first taken aback by all the praise he received from local media for his acts of generosity. "They wrote an article about what we were doing and at first I didn't like it, I wanted it to be about the troops" he says, "but the outpouring of support from companies and individuals has helped me increase my efforts and send more packages."
Some of the donations he received came from a Vietnam Vet's widow and a WWII female Vet who donated her frequent flyer miles. After one email and 2 phone calls the company Pet Brands also donated enough supplies to care for a 10 dog bomb sniffing unit who were in desperate need of dog beds. "The generosity has been great" adds McClelland, "we have been able to send out over 800 packages due to the support of regular everyday people."
McClelland knows that he will probably never meet those that he is caring for but in a way he feels that it is "kind of cool, I just want them to know that we care." Those who want to donate items to be sent to the troops can email Ed McClelland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the $1,000 prize for being selected the ExtenZe Racing Local Hero, ExtenZe Racing will be donating 200 ExtenZe Racing hats to McClelland's cause.
"Our troops are out there fighting for us everyday and it is great to see someone like Ed stand up and take the charge in recognizing their sacrifices and make sure they are getting the everyday necessities that we take for granted," said the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway. "I'm sure he has a lot of fans overseas and that our troops are very gracious for his selfless acts. And for that, we look forward to having him as part of our race team and honoring his heroic deeds at Infineon."
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference in their communities. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the garage, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red No. 34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness.
Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen.
-source: front row motorsports