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Gordon, Foundation Raise Funds for Marrow Program

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 30, 2005) - Four-time NEXTEL Cup champion Jeff Gordon raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for the Hendrick Marrow Program of The Marrow Foundation during two charitable events he hosted Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Through a special challenge grant obtained by The Marrow Foundation from The Starr Foundation, the contribution is eligible for matching funds, which will bring the total raised to almost $400,000.

The Fifth Annual Jeff Gordon Go-Kart Challenge sponsored by Time Warner Cable provided corporate sponsors the opportunity to go head-to-head with Gordon on the go-kart track. “An Evening with Jeff Gordon” followed the go-kart event and was highlighted by the first-time meeting of a marrow donor and his recipient.

Jim Wallace, of Concord, thought he was invited to speak about the work of the Hendrick Marrow Program and the National Marrow Donor Program Registry, where he volunteered to be a donor. Wallace did not know that his recipient, Gloria Dunford, was in the audience as he spoke about his experience as his donor.

“I’m no hero,” Wallace said. “What I did, anyone should do. Gloria is the hero.”

Dunford and Wallace embraced for the first time to a standing ovation.

Gordon ended the evening by presenting Rick Hendrick with a check for more than $250,000 to benefit the Hendrick Marrow Program. Gordon is committed to improving the lives of more patients like Dunford by continuing to increase the numbers on the NMDP Registry through targeted recruitment efforts. Gordon was also moved by the plight of the many transplant patients who were displaced during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Gordon designated a portion of funds raised to The Marrow Foundation’s Operation LifeGift fund, which will directly benefit those transplant patients affected by the recent hurricanes. The fund will help ensure that every searching patient from the devastated regions will have the opportunity to search the NMDP Registry for a suitably matched donor.

“All of us associated with the Hendrick Marrow Program, The Marrow Foundation and the NMDP are indebted to Jeff and The Jeff Gordon Foundation for helping us save the lives of patients who need marrow transplants,” said Jill McGovern, CEO of The Marrow Foundation. “Not only will the funds raised by the October 12 events make it possible to add more volunteers to the NMDP Registry, they will provide immediate support for transplant patients who were the unfortunate victims of Katrina and Rita.

“Thanks to Jeff, more patients than ever will have a second chance at life.”

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