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Johnson picks Cookies for Kids' Cancer, Birthday Blessings for Helmet of Hope

CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 13, 2010) – Cookies for Kids’ Cancer (Califon, N.J.) and Birthday Blessings (Charlotte, N.C.) will be two of 13 charities which will adorn the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Samsung Helmet of Hope at Auto Club Speedway in October. Each organization will also receive a $10,000 grant.

ESPN’s Marty Smith nominated Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a group committed to raising funds to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer. Through the concept of local bake sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides money, inspiration and support for families fighting pediatric cancer.

“Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by Gretchen Witt, a mother inspired by her young son Liam’s cancer battle,” Smith said. “She did not accept his plight sitting down. Rather, she sought to change his world through sheer will, and as a result is changing the lives of children battling cancer every day. The vigor with which they work is awe-inspiring. It is for me. It will be for you. They deserve this recognition.”

Terri Springer of Matthews, N.C., nominated Birthday Blessings, an organization whose goal is to bring joy, recognition, and support to needy children and families during difficult and sad times in their lives. The three core programs raise spirits and boost confidence for homeless children ages tots to teens, and offer help and hope to homeless parents and their babies.
“Birthday Blessings is a fantastic nonprofit dedicated to serving homeless children,” Springer explained. “Birthday Blessings is a new charity (whose demand) keeps growing due to the economy.

“I started volunteering in 2008 and since I began my family has been part of it too. Logan, my 10-year-old, loves to go and help. He helps at some parties and watched as one boy blew out his candles. The boy didn’t know how to do it because he had never had candles on his cake before. Logan was very touched by that and hopes that all children can celebrate their birthdays. The organization not only provides smiles but gives the children a moment of normalcy in a time when it isn’t normal.”

Birthday Blessings is one of seven Charlotte, N.C.-based charities that have received a spot on the Samsung Helmet of Hope since its inception in 2008. The others are Classroom Central, Loaves & Fishes, National MS Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Hendrick Marrow Program, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education and Care Ring.
In its third year, the Samsung Helmet of Hope program is a partnership of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Samsung and Lowe’s. Fans and media members across the country have the opportunity to nominate their children’s charity of choice to be featured on Johnson’s helmet for a select race. New this year, selected charities also will receive a grant of $10,000. This partnership is part of the Samsung Hope for Children program, a corporate giving program that aligns athletes and retail partners to help children learn, live and thrive. 
Johnson will draw one winner from a list of media submissions and one from a list of fan submissions each race weekend through the Atlanta event in September. Current selected charities include: Beads of Courage (Tucson, Ariz.), Hunter’s Hope Foundation (Orchard Park, N.Y.), Foundation for Faces of Children (Brookline, Mass.), The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (Santa Barbara, Calif.), The Racingawareness.com Foundation (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Care Ring (Charlotte, N.C.). They join the Feeding America® Kids Café program, which was nominated by Samsung to kick-off this year’s campaign program.  The Kids Café program works to address the growing epidemic facing children’s hunger. 
Fans and media members may nominate their charity by visiting www.helmetofhope.org
For more information about the most recently selected charities, visit www.cookiesforkidscancer.org and www.birthdayblessings.org.

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