NASCAR Driver Elliott Sadler Recipient of Outstanding Young Virginian Award RICHMOND, Va. (November 18, 2003) -- Many years before NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler was born,or began making laps around a race track, the Virginia Jaycees have...
NASCAR Driver Elliott Sadler Recipient of Outstanding Young Virginian Award
RICHMOND, Va. (November 18, 2003) -- Many years before NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler was born,or began making laps around a race track, the Virginia Jaycees have recognized outstanding young citizens from their state. On Saturday night, the 28 year old Emporia native was honored with the prestigious Outstanding Young Virginian Award for the difference he's made not only on the track, but off of it.
The Outstanding Young Virginians Program began as the Distinguished Service Award. The first recipient was Martin B. Williams of Richmond. In 1971, the award was changed to Outstanding Young Men and that year a special presentation was made to honor all POW/MIA's in Southeast Asia. In 1984 with the introduction of women into the Jaycees, the award was changed to Outstanding Young Virginians.
Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M'S Ford for Robert Yates Racing, was nominated for the award because of his dedication to help find a cure for autism. In May of 2003, Sadler spearheaded "M&M'S Hoops for Hope", a celebrity basketball game that raised over $45,000 for the Autism Society of America. It was because of Sadler's dedication and commitment to raise awareness of this puzzling disorder on a national level that he was selected as an Outstanding Young Virginian.
Even though Sadler was not on hand this weekend to receive the award in person due to the NASCAR race in Homestead, Florida, he videotaped an acceptance speech to be played at the ceremony in Richmond.
"I am so honored to be chosen for the Outstanding Young Virginian award," said Sadler. "Growing up in Virginia I knew all about the Jaycees. Through the years as I have moved forward in my racing career, I have realized how fortunate I am. My parents always taught me to give back to anyone who has helped me along the way and especially those who are less fortunate than me. I am very proud of this award, and thankful to those who selected me."
According to the creed of the Jaycees, the Outstanding Young Virginian award demonstrates how the hope of mankind lies in the hands of the young. The young men and women selected over the past 61 years have represented the cultural, economic and personal progress of their time. Many of these young people have gone on to become well known for their achievements. Others, less famous, have nevertheless continued to serve mankind in a variety of ways. Each honoree has shown commitment to mankind and reminds each of us that no problem is too difficult when handled with grace, ingenuity, courage, and determination.
Sadler plans to continue his quest in raising funds for autism research and expects to announce plans for a 2004 event in the near future.