Racing is not just about high-performance cars and spectacular professional drivers. It is also not just about second hand vehicles fully checked and modified, if necessary, for amateur drivers. Racing goes beyond those things. Racing can be an avenue for charity, too.
On November 8, 2019, The NASCAR Foundation announced the four finalists for the Ninth Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which started the month-long quest. Fans shall vote online to determine the winner.
The finalists are the following:
- Bob Behounek from Berwyn, Illinois, a 56-year NASCAR fan representing Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Behounek, an artist, has been raising money to assist families of admitted children with housing needs during extended hospital stays. He has been volunteering for 13 years.
- Angela Hamby from Locust, North Carolina, a 40-year NASCAR fan representing the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte. She has been the head nurse for Camp Horizon, which caters to children with Down syndrome. She has been volunteering for 12 years.
- Todd Smith from Perris, California, a 12-year NASCAR fan who represents Fuel for Success, a national organization founded by Todd. He has been introducing at-risk students to NASCAR while establishing better relationships between police officers and students for 12 years.
- Joe Vaughn from Woodruff, South Carolina, a 45-year NASCAR fan representing Project HOPE Foundation of Greenville, South Carolina. Vaughn is the chairman of Project HOPE, which helps children with autism. Vaugh has been volunteering for 20 years.
“Avid NASCAR fans―that’s the best way to begin when describing this year’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists,” said Mike Helton, The NASCAR Foundation’s Chairman, stated. “Each one represents what Betty Jane France stood for and what she wanted this award to be: a recognition of people who love our sport but also love the charities they are passionate about.”
The finalists were announced during a news conference at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. This was done prior to Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500, the finale of the “Round of 8” in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
The award, named in honor of the foundation’s deceased founder and chairwoman, is given to a NASCAR fan who has done extraordinary volunteer work for children in his or her community. Results of the fan vote, which began on November 8 and lasts until Dec. 3 at 5 PM (ET), held at NASCARfoundation.org/Award―will be announced on Dec. 5 during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards at Music City Center in Nashville. The NASCAR Foundation will give $100,000 to the charity embodied by the award winner and $25,000 to each charity of the other three finalists.
The NASCAR Foundation has helped more than 300,000 children by donating approximately $1.5 million to charities represented by finalists for the award.
To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and the 2019 finalists, visit NASCARfoundation.org/Award.