[CHARLOTTE] (November 28, 2017) – As he retires from his legendary NASCAR racing career, Dale Earnhardt Jr. builds on his long-term commitment to philanthropy by announcing the creation of the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The fund will champion the cause of pediatric injury rehabilitation, research and prevention at America’s largest pediatric hospital and research center. The fund launches today on Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, and in conjunction with “Appreci88ion, An Evening with Dale Jr. presented by Nationwide” taking place tonight in Las Vegas as part of NASCAR’s Champions Week. The event, sponsored by Nationwide and hosted by Dale Jr., is a special celebration of Dale Jr.’s storied racing career and all proceeds from the event will benefit the newly-established Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s.
Through his relationship with long-time partner Nationwide, both Dale Jr. and his wife, Amy Earnhardt, have made several visits to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and have become strong supporters and champions of the children treated there, especially those in the hospital’s rehabilitation unit. The Earnhardts, along with The Dale Jr. Foundation, created the fund to make an everlasting impact and support a cause that has touched their hearts.
“Amy and I are incredibly proud to make this announcement and to continue to be involved with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as I step away from racing,” said Dale Jr. “These children and their families go through so much during rehabilitation and pediatric injury research is really underfunded. We want to support them and give hope to children everywhere by speeding research discoveries and being an advocate for this important issue of injury prevention. This also allows us to grow and expand the mission of The Dale Jr. Foundation, which is to help children in need and see them achieve their full potential.”
The Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s launches with great momentum with funds raised during Dale Jr.’s final season as a full-time driver and through support from Nationwide, The Dale Jr. Foundation, JR Motorsports, Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet. JR Nation, Dale Jr.’s loyal and passionate fan base, also lent their generous support contributing to the many campaigns and auctions benefitting Nationwide Children’s throughout the year.
In honor of all of JR Nation, The Dale Jr. Foundation is making a generous launch gift of $88,888.88 for the new Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund. This generous gift adds to the money raised through 2017’s fundraising efforts and that final amount will be announced at the end of the “Appreci88ion, An Evening with Dale Jr. presented by Nationwide” event.
“The Dale Jr. Foundation is excited to join Dale Jr. and Amy in launching this long-term relationship with Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports and vice-president of The Dale Jr. Foundation. “This is an opportunity to spread our mission by helping children through an organization that has such a national impact. This marries so well with our ongoing commitment to help organizations of all sizes, both here in Charlotte and across America.”
Nationwide, long-time supporter of Nationwide Children’s, has been instrumental in introducing the Earnhardt family to the Hospital’s clinical and research mission and supporting fundraising efforts. Tonight continues that tradition of support as Nationwide, along with Dale Jr. and NASCAR, will generously donate all ticket proceeds of the “Appreci88ion, An Evening with Dale Jr. presented by Nationwide” event in Las Vegas to the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund.
“The addition of tonight’s proceeds and the generous support of JR Nation will help build on the incredible momentum for the launch of the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s,” said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of Marketing for Nationwide. “We’ve watched Dale and Amy build remarkable bonds with the patients and staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Rehabilitation Unit during the past few years. We hope all Dale’s generous fans will join us in not only congratulating him, but also supporting his Fund and helping these children.”
Fans attending tonight’s Appreci88ion event will have their ticket proceeds benefit the new Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund and all others can join in by making their contributions at www.nationwidechildrens.org/dalejr. The first 88 donors of $288 or more will receive an autographed piece of 6” x 8” race-used No. 88 sheet metal from one of Dale Jr.’s Nationwide race cars from his final Cup Season accompanied by a certificate of authenticity verified by Hendrick Motorsports. Any donor who contributes a gift of $188 or more will have their name listed on our recognition signage in the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Activity Room with their optional personalized message to Dale and Amy.
“On behalf of all the patients, families and staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital we send our deepest gratitude to Dale Jr., Amy and everyone supporting this vitally important Fund,” said Steve Allen, MD, CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Dale Jr. is a beloved NASCAR champion but many of his biggest fans are here on the floors of Nationwide Children’s. He and Amy have a special place in our hearts and this Fund will create a legacy that helps children for generations to come. Their involvement will help us continue our mission to help kids everywhere and support life-saving research and advocacy in pediatric injury.”
During his first visit to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2015, Dale Jr. met and quickly befriended eight-year old patient Maddie over a video game battle. Since then, the two have enjoyed many adventures on behalf of the hospital including a trip to the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale Arizona and the NASCAR race at Kentucky Speedway. In September, Dale Jr. and Amy hosted Maddie and her family at Charlotte area property, where these portraits were captured by award-winning photographer, Gregory Heisler.
ABOUT THE DALE JR FOUNDATION:
The Dale Jr. Foundation is a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education, and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. For more information, visit www.thedalejrfoundation.org.
ABOUT NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL:
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 list of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of nearly 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.
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