The Jeff Gordon Foundation Honors Heroes CHARLOTTE, NC (October 8, 2008) - The Jeff Gordon Foundation and the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Jeff Gordon, hosted "A Hero's Journey" on Wednesday. The day-long event raised over $310,000...
The Jeff Gordon Foundation Honors Heroes
CHARLOTTE, NC (October 8, 2008) - The Jeff Gordon Foundation and the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Jeff Gordon, hosted "A Hero's Journey" on Wednesday. The day-long event raised over $310,000 for the Hendrick Marrow Program. The Hendrick Marrow Program works in partnership with The Marrow Foundation to increase access to transplantation by promoting donor recruitment and providing patient assistance to hundreds of children and their families.
The event was set in ancient Greece and began with "The Games" which took place at Victory Lane Karting. During the morning's events, teams took to the track for a fast-paced go-kart challenge with their favorite driver. The go-kart event included nine different heats of two teams with four drivers from each team. Participants and spectators enjoyed lunch provided by Paventi's Pizzeria, along with a "Question and Answer" session with Jeff as well as team pictures and awards presented to the winning teams. John Roberts, host of SPEED Channel's NASCAR Raceday and Victory Lane, joined as the emcee of the event.
Later that evening, guests attended "The Festival" at the Westin in downtown Charlotte presented by Pacific Technical Resources, Inc. "The Festival" included a cocktail reception, delicious dinner, and an exciting live auction. The climax of the evening was the introduction by Jeff Gordon of a young hero and guest of honor, Tanner, to his life-saving donor, Tom. There was not a dry-eye in the room when the pair met for the first time.
"I am pleased to be a part of supporting the Hendrick Marrow Program and the NMDP; those members of the Registry who have agreed to answer the call if needed are definitely heroes in my mind," said Jeff Gordon. "Not to mention the many brave children who fight for their lives each and every day."
During the dinner, individuals who were previously, or currently, on the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry were recognized with flowers handed to them by five special children whose lives had been saved from a marrow or cord blood transplant. A table was also set up for dinner guests to sign up for the Registry during the event, and over 65 individuals registered throughout the day. Dr. Jeffrey W. Chell, CEO of the NMDP, was on hand to experience this journey.
"I cannot imagine a better event," said Dr. Chell. "It was truly such an honor to be a part of this dinner and I look forward to working with The Jeff Gordon Foundation to continue to increase awareness about the NMDP and the great work Mr. Gordon is doing for so many children and their families."
The night was capped off with a live auction which raised approximately $134,715, and was led by auctioneers, Steve Letarte, Crew Chief of the No.24 DuPont Chevrolet, and Doug Duchardt, Vice President of Development for Hendrick Motorsports. The dynamic duo helped to pump up the crowd and gain excitement for the wide-range of items, including, a 4-day trip for four guests to go salt water fishing in Key West aboard Mr. Rick Hendrick's 80' Custom Merritt Sport Fishing Yacht, Reel Wheels, an ultimate "Charlotte Sports Package", and an all-expense paid trip to the popular vacation spot, Bar Harbor, Maine.
About The Jeff Gordon Foundation
The Jeff Gordon Foundation was established in 1999 by the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. The mission of the foundation is to improve the lives of children facing life-threatening and chronic diseases by supporting pediatric medical care and initiatives that address the emotional needs of these special children. The Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Riley Hospital for Children, The Marrow Foundation in partnership with the Hendrick Marrow Program and the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital. For more information visit www.jeffgordonfoundation.org
About the Hendrick Marrow Program
Rick Hendrick, Chairman and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports, established the Hendrick Marrow Program at The Marrow Foundation in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he did not need a marrow transplant himself, he wanted to help other patients who did not have the resources to find a marrow match or to cover the uninsured transplant-related costs that are often barriers to treatment. The Hendrick Marrow Program works in collaboration with The Marrow Foundation to increase access to transplantation by raising support for the Foundation's partner, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), in two key areas: donor recruitment and patient assistance. Since its inception, the Program has raised more than $7 million in support of the NMDP, added more than 85,000 volunteers to the NMDP Registry, and assisted more than 3,000 patients with grants from the Hendrick Family Fund for Patient Assistance.