FONTANA, Calif. – Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson kicked off the 2012 Helmet of Hope campaign today at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., by announcing Blue Bunny Ice Cream as the title sponsor of the program. Johnson unveiled this year’s helmet, custom designed by Jason Beam and complete with ice cream scoops.
“We’re thrilled to have Blue Bunny Ice Cream as the title sponsor for this year’s Helmet of Hope,” Johnson said. “Blue Bunny and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation share the same passion for helping those in need. We look forward to recognizing 13 great charities together this year.”
The Helmet of Hope program, which began in 2008, allows fans, consumers and media members across the country to nominate their favorite charity to receive a $10,000 grant and special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet. This year’s Helmet of Hope campaign will run for six consecutive Sprint Cup race weekends beginning at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April and culminating at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in May. Nominations are currently being taken and will be accepted until 5 p.m. EDT on May 7 at www.HelmetOfHope.org. To date, the program has contributed more than $300,000 to 49 different charities.
New this year, each selected charity will also receive a special Blue Bunny ice cream party. The Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope will be worn by Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Impala, in June during the Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
“Blue Bunny is honored to be title sponsor for the Helmet of Hope program,” said Mike Wells, president and CEO, Wells Enterprises, Inc., makers of Blue Bunny Ice Cream. “The opportunity this program provides in assisting awarded organizations aligns with our company fundamentals and beliefs. We are committed to being a good corporate citizen in those communities in which we live and work by contributing our time, talent and resources.”
Blue Bunny selected the United Way of Siouxland to be the first charity featured on the Helmet of Hope. The United Way of Siouxland raises funds for a variety of partner organizations in northwest Iowa, where Blue Bunny is based. The organization focuses on helping children achieve their potential, promoting financial stability, and ensuring basic “safety net” services are available for those in need. United Way of Siouxland will dedicate the dollars to The Imagination Library, a literacy program in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation, which provides free books to area children from newborn to 5 years of age. In addition to United Way of Siouxland, Johnson will draw two charities each week to be included on the helmet, one from fan submissions and one from media submissions.
For additional information and to nominate your favorite charity, visit www.HelmetOfHope.org