Alzheimer’s Association in Honor of Dan Wheldon and First Descents Selected for Jimmie Johnson Foundation Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 20, 2012) – Alzheimer’s Association and First Descents are the next two charities selected for the 2012 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which Johnson will wear in the June 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Each organization will receive a grant of $10,000 and a special Blue Bunny ice cream party.

ESPN reporter Nicole Briscoe nominated the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of the late Dan Wheldon. Wheldon was an IZOD IndyCar Series driver and a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, but he died in an on-track accident last October during the season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


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“Dan Wheldon was working to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s before he was killed. His mother has Alzheimer’s,” wrote Briscoe in her nomination. “Dan’s legacy is as much about his immense talent and accomplishments behind the wheel as it is his family. Featuring this organization would be a tribute to Dan, his family and all who are affected by the disease.”

Fan Melissa Hage from Salem, Ore., nominated First Descents. The organization offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors (ages 18-39) a free outdoor adventure experience, designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy cancer and reclaim their lives.

“As a young adult cancer survivor, I didn’t have anyone my age to talk with about what I had gone through until I participated in First Descents,” wrote Hage. “My recovery would not have been complete without them. They gave me back the spark for living and allowed me to prove that cancer didn’t win. Every cancer survivor should be able to attend camp and have that same feeling.”

The Helmet of Hope program, which began in 2008, allows fans, consumers and media members across the country to nominate their favorite charity to receive a $10,000 grant, special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet and a Blue Bunny ice cream party. To date, the program has contributed more than $300,000 to 49 different charities across the United States.

This year’s Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign runs for six consecutive Sprint Cup race weekends, and it began April 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Johnson will draw one winner from a list of media submissions and one from a list of fan submissions each race weekend through the Mother’s Day weekend Sprint Cup event at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Alzheimer’s Association, whose national headquarters are located in Chicago, Ill., and First Descents, whose national headquarters are located in Denver, Colo., join the United Way of Siouxland, Nature Conservancy, Chill Foundation, Fisher House and Scott Lake Elementary-PTO as charities that will be featured on the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope.

Fans and media members may nominate their charity by visiting www.helmetofhope.org. For more information about the most recently selected charities visit www.alz.org or @alzassociation, www.firstdescents.org or @FirstDescents. 

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About the Helmet of Hope

In its fifth year, the Helmet of Hope program gives fans and media members across the country the opportunity to nominate their favorite charity to be featured on five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson’s helmet for the June 24 Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. This year’s title sponsor for Helmet of Hope is Blue Bunny Ice Cream. In addition to being featured on the helmet, each charity selected also receives a grant of $10,000 and a Blue Bunny ice cream party. To date, the program has contributed more than $300,000 to 49 different charities.

About the Jimmie Johnson Foundation

Chandra and Jimmie Johnson launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006. Johnson, the five-time Sprint Cup champion, drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet in NASCAR’s top series. The mission of the foundation is to assist children, families, and communities in need throughout the United States. The foundation has committed more than $5 million to various charities. For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visit www.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.

About Blue Bunny

Blue Bunny, founded in 1913, is a brand of Wells Enterprises, Inc. — the largest family-owned ice cream manufacturer in the United States. Today, more than 500 Blue Bunny-branded ice cream and frozen novelty products can be found across the U.S. Always committed to quality, Blue Bunny products are made with only real ice cream. Wells is headquartered in Le Mars, Iowa, the Ice Cream Capital of the World. Become a Blue Bunny fan on Facebook (facebook.com/BlueBunnyIceCream) for ice cream news and updates.

Source: True Speed Communication for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Press Release


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