The announcement came as part of a media conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway to outline the elements of Valvoline's 2001 "Caring Hands" national partnership with BBBSA. The partnership was formed in 1999 to raise money for...
The announcement came as part of a media conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway to outline the elements of Valvoline's 2001 "Caring Hands" national partnership with BBBSA. The partnership was formed in 1999 to raise money for school-based mentoring programs and recruit new volunteer mentors for the country's premier mentoring program.
Swann also announced that Benson has been named an honorary Big Brother and is the new national spokesperson for Valvoline's Caring Hands program, taking over the role held by former Valvoline driver Mark Martin.
Valvoline also will make donations to BBBSA throughout the 2001 season based on Benson's on-track performance: $5,000 for a win, $2,500 for a pole, $1,000 for a top ten 10 finish, $500 for a top 20 finish and $20 for each lap led. By virtue of Benson's fourth place finish at last week's Las Vegas race, Valvoline will donate $1,100 to the local BBBS agency.
In addition, Valvoline officials, Swann and Benson announced that Valvoline would donate $100,000 to BBBSA if race fans and the general public submit 100,000 handprints ($1 per handprint) to Valvoline by the end of the racing season. Fans can submit a trace of their handprint to Valvoline via fax (859) 357-2686, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, U.S. Mail (P.O. Box 13458 Lexington, KY 40583-3458) or online at www.valvoline.com, as well as at any Valvoline Instant Oil Changes, Big Brothers Big Sisters community events and participating automotive retail outlets. Valvoline is also challenging people everywhere to become a Big Brother or Big Sister to help the largest and oldest mentoring organization reach their goal of recruiting one million mentors by 2010.
To date, Valvoline's Caring Hands program has raised more than $550,000 in two years as a result of both on-track performances from Valvoline drivers and off-track support from race fans and BBBSA volunteers in NASCAR race markets. The "Caring Hands" program continues to be the most ambitious philanthropic endeavor ever undertaken by The Valvoline Company in its 135-year history.
"We've made a lot of exciting changes prior to this season, including becoming the first consumer products company in history to co-own a Winston Cup Racing team, but one thing that has not changed is our alliance with BBBSA," said James V. Rocco, senior vice president of Valvoline and director of Valvoline's racing program. "By naming Johnny Benson national spokesperson for the Caring Hands program, we've got a leader who shares the same values of both The Valvoline Company and the BBBSA organization."
Benson, a Michigan-native and former American Speed Association (ASA) and Busch Grand National Champion, has three Rookie of the Year titles under his belt including ASA AC Delco Challenge Series (1990), Busch Series (1994) and Winston Cup Series (1995). "It's an honor to be racing for Valvoline Big Brothers Big Sisters," said Johnny Benson. "I'm thrilled to be part of such a successful racing heritage both on-and-off the track. This incentive will make our first win in the Valvoline No. 10 Pontiac all that much sweeter."
Benson will also support the program by showcasing the BBBSA logo on his car for the remainder of the season, which was unveiled with Swann following today's media conference.
Swann, who also serves on the BBBSA Board of Directors added, "We're thrilled to continue working with Valvoline. In 1999, we started the Caring Hands initiative at Daytona with a $50,000 seed from Valvoline and the program has taken off in terms of awareness and financial support thanks to NASCAR fans and volunteer mentors."
The Valvoline Company also sponsors BBBSA's national and local "Big of the Year" award, which celebrates individual Big Brothers and Big Sisters volunteers who excel above and beyond the call of duty. For more information about Valvoline's Caring Hands program or details on how to become a volunteer mentor, call 215/567-7000 or visit www.bbbsa.org.