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Hendrick Marrow Program Appoints New Director

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 20, 2004)—J.R. (Rick) Hendrick III, founder of Hendrick Motorsports and Dr. Jill McGovern, CEO of The Marrow Foundation, announce the appointment of Jane Weaver-Sobel as the new director of the Hendrick Marrow Program, effective Dec. 1, 2003.

As a seasoned fundraising professional, Weaver-Sobel successfully secured support for the arts in Washington, D.C., Houston, and Charlotte.  She served as the executive director of the Community School of the Arts for seven years, having expanded the organization to a new location while tripling its programs, earned revenues and fundraising income.

“The Hendrick Marrow Program is fortunate to have someone of Jane’s experience, creative ideas and success in fundraising through events, corporate giving, and individual membership campaigns,” stated Hendrick, who founded the Hendrick Marrow Program in 1997.  “With her expertise and energy, we hope to increase contributions to this cause, which will enable more life saving opportunities for thousands of patients needing a marrow or blood stem cell transplant.”

“My years in the arts were very rewarding and now I am very excited to move into another side of the non-profit world where I might work to make a real difference with the ‘gift of life’ for the thousands of patients who search each year for a marrow match,” Weaver-Sobel said.  “We want to make marrow transplants available to more patients by funding marrow donor recruitment drives, assisting patients and their families who are challenged financially by the transplant process, and supporting research to improve the outcomes for transplant patients.

“I have already discovered that the Hendrick Marrow Program is an extraordinary organization, with the benevolence of Rick Hendrick setting the example for others.  His own generous contribution to the organization covers the cost of the Program’s staff and operations so that every other person and corporation making a contribution has the benefit of 100 percent of their gifts and grants going directly into funding donor drives, patient assistance, and research grants.

“Mr. Hendrick’s commitment is rare in the non-profit world where only 70-80 percent, not 100 percent, of each contributor’s gift goes to support programs and projects.  The personal commitment of Rick Hendrick is what accounts for the remarkable success of this Program.”

The Hendrick Marrow Program’s goal for 2004 is $1 million which will be raised from various projects including the 15th Annual Rick Hendrick Celebrity Golf Classic, the Ricky Craven Snowmobile Ride for Charity, the Jeff Gordon Go-Kart Challenge, Pit Crews for Kids, Annual Fund campaigns and a Major Gifts campaign.

After Hendrick Motorsports won back-to-back NASCAR Winston (now NEXTEL) Cup championships in 1995 and 1996, Hendrick was diagnosed with leukemia.  During his treatment and recovery, he became keenly aware of the challenges that other patients and their families endure in their struggle to find a life-saving marrow match as well as the resources to cover uninsured transplant-related expenses.  To help these patients, he established the Hendrick Marrow Program in collaboration with The Marrow Foundation and, to date, the Program has raised more than $3.5 million for marrow donor recruitment, patient assistance, and research.

In 2003, the Hendrick Marrow Program became an official partner of The Marrow Foundation.  The Foundation works to secure resources from the private sector to support the work of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).  The Marrow Foundation and the NMDP share the following goals:  to increase the diversity of the NMDP’s Registry of unrelated (non-family) marrow and blood stem cell donors; to assist patients with uninsured financial needs; and to sponsor research to improve the understanding and outcome of unrelated marrow and blood stem cell transplantation on a worldwide basis.  Located in Washington, D.C., The Marrow Foundation was created in 1991 by Admiral E.R. Zumwalt Jr., an early proponent of a national marrow donor registry.

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