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Hendrick Marrow Program, St. Baldrick's Foundation added to Helmet of Hope

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 17, 2009) –  Hendrick Marrow Program (Charlotte, N.C.) and St. Baldrick’s Foundation (Pasadena, Calif.) are the newest charities to be featured on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Helmet of Hope, the race helmet Johnson will wear during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Auto Club Speedway on Oct. 11.

Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC’s Greg Bailey nominated the Hendrick Marrow Program, a program of the Be The Match Foundation which helps raise funds to support the work of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and its Be The Match Registry. The Hendrick Marrow Program was established by Rick Hendrick in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he did not need a marrow transplant himself, he wanted to help other patients waiting to find a marrow match and a second chance at life.

“The Hendrick Marrow Program delivers life saving help, right now, to children who are desperately in need,” Bailey said. “Year after year, I see hope in children’s eyes where none existed before. I see gratitude that defies words from their parents. Every new person who learns about The Hendrick Marrow Program is a potential life saver.”

Kathleen Haberthy of Indianapolis selected St. Baldrick’s Foundation. St. Baldrick’s is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. At St. Baldrick’s events all throughout the year, brave volunteers shave their heads, raising funds for childhood cancer research. Like runners in a marathon, “shavees” collect donations from friends, family and associates. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation receives these funds and makes grants to research experts to find new and better cures for fighting kids cancer.

“My nephew was diagnosed with Ph+ ALL in January 2006,” Haberthy said. “To show support, his family gathered over 50 shavees to shave their heads to support Keegan.  In the first year we raised $25,000 and in the last 4 years we have raised over $160,000.  We do not want another child to suffer through chemo or radiation treatments.  We don’t want another child to be diagnosed with cancer.  As Keegan proudly says, ‘Dead cancer.’ Being on Jimmie’s helmet would bring much needed attention to this cause.”

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education also is featured on the helmet. The foundation is partnering with the Lowe’s program to raise funds for education initiatives in Johnson’s hometown of El Cajon, Calif. The funds will be raised through the 3rd-Annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament to be held on Oct. 7 in San Diego.

Johnson will draw two charities each race weekend through this weekend’s Cup event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, collecting a total of 12 winning organizations.  Current selected charities include Victory Junction (Randleman, N.C.), Zepp Children’s Foundation (Westminster, Md.), National Multiple Sclerosis Society Mid Atlantic Chapter (Charlotte, N.C.), KidsPeace (Raleigh, N.C.), Special Operations Warrior Foundation (Tampa, Fla.), The Taylor Brooks Foundation (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Loaves & Fishes (Charlotte, N.C.), CureSearch (Bethesda, Md.), Hendrick Marrow Program (Charlotte, N.C.) and St. Baldrick’s Foundation (Pasadena, Calif.). Each winning charity will receive a $1,048 donation in addition to proceeds from the sale of a Helmet of Hope t-shirt. The t-shirt will feature each charity’s logo and can be ordered at www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org

Fans can nominate their favorite charity by visiting www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org