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The Dale Jr. Foundation Raises Nearly $900,000 in 2018

Many Different Groups Benefit from Charitable Donations

The Dale Jr. Foundation | 1/17/2019

News TDJF

The Dale Jr. Foundation, the charitable arm of 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., made life better for many in 2018, raising nearly $900,000 in its effort to spread hope and empower children for a better future.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 17, 2019) – The Dale Jr. Foundation, the charitable arm of 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., made life better for many in 2018, raising nearly $900,000 in its effort to spread hope and empower children for a better future.

Earlier in the year, The Dale Jr. Foundation pledged to donate $500,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Western North Carolina to help build and name the Wish Room in its permanent home. The first part of the donation for the Dale Jr. Wish Room was made this year and the balance will be endowed over the next four years.

The Dale Jr. Foundation’s commitment to the Make-A-Wish program has a long history. Not only are Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, the vice-president of the Foundation, passionate about the mission Make-A-Wish has undertaken, to bring wish experiences to life and leave enduring legacies, they’ve put action to words long before The Dale Jr. Foundation was formed in 2007. Earnhardt Jr. has given a total of 251 wishes during his career.

The Dale Jr. Foundation, in conjunction with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and the Heart of America Foundation, celebrated the grand opening of the brand-new LaSalle-Backus Educational Campus Library in Washington, D.C. last April. The trio of foundations combined to transform the former library into a new learning center, complete with updated paint schemes and décor, 350 new books, new technology and new furniture to aid in the education of students in the area. It’s a continuation of LBEC’s commitment to literacy. LBEC has worked long and hard to improve literacy through the 2017-18 Redskins Read Program, an incentive-based reading program that helps teachers expand on current curriculum for fourth- and fifth-grade students and increase reading scores

The Dale Jr. Foundation’s year-end giving included many charities that fit its mission statement, which is giving underprivileged individuals, with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. Among some of those receiving donations from TDJF were: AMI Kids, Blessings in Backpack, Child Care Services, Children’s Hope Alliance, Classroom Central, HealthReach Community Clinic, KinderMourn, Mercy Medical Angels, Mooresville Christian Mission, Mooresville Soup Kitchen, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, SCAN of Iredell and Special Olympics of North Carolina.

In addition to giving on a national level TDJF was able to give hope locally this holiday season. In partnership with Josh’s Market and the Mooresville Christian Mission, TDJF gifted 12 families with Christmas trees and all the trimmings, a breakfast gift basket and holiday meals from Lowe’s Foods. JRM employees got into the spirit of the season, gifting Children’s Hope Alliance with 27 presents for the holidays through its Angel Tree Program. The JR Elves were back at it this this year spreading holiday cheer to 17 children with a visit from Santa complete with pizza, crafts, stockings and a shopping trip to complete the evening’s festivities.

The successful year was due in part to the annual Win Dale Jr.’s Ride raffle and other fund-raising efforts including the annual Driven to Give dinner and auction, which raised $185,206 toward the yearly goal. The Nationwide Driven to Give Gloves Program was a big winner as well, as race-worn driving gloves worn by NASCAR competitors at New York’s Watkins Glen International were auctioned off to raise funds for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Funds raised from the auction helped Nationwide Children’s provide pet therapy for its Patient Champions. In 2017, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy gifted $88,888 to form the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s to champion the cause of pediatric injury rehabilitation, research and prevention at America’s largest pediatric hospital and research center. In 2018, the first research study was funded from the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The study conducted by researchers at the hospital looked at the impact of therapy dogs on the rehabilitation of children who suffered physical injuries as well as brain injuries.  The fund provided new equipment to conduct the survey and supported internships for college students who helped to code the behaviors of children who were videoed participating in rehabilitation with therapy dogs. In September, researchers from Nationwide Children’s presented the preliminary study findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine and the study was well received. Two hospitals plan to begin animal therapy programs like those conducted at NCH.

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