MOORESVILLE, N.C. – The Dale Jr. Foundation (TDJF) announced today the successful conclusion to its year-long fundraising efforts, which raised more than $280,000 to benefit non-profit organizations and charities on a national scale. TDJF utilized a trio of major initiatives to raise the funds, including the “Driven to Give” event, the “Win Dale Jr.’s Ride” raffle and ride-along experiences with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“It was another great year,” said Earnhardt. “The people who work for TDJF are some of the hardest-working people in my entire company, and I want to thank them first and foremost. I also want to thank anyone who contributed to the raising of funds this year, whether it was through in-kind donations, purchasing raffle tickets, or bidding on auction items. All of it contributed to helping us achieve our goals.”
Headlining the fundraising initiative was the second annual “Driven to Give” Dinner and silent auction. Hosted by Earnhardt and ESPN’s Marty Smith, the dinner brought more than 300 guests to the Charles Mack Citizen Center in Mooresville, N.C., where country music artist Kellie Pickler performed a special concert. In addition to the silent auction, attendees enjoyed raffle prizes and a Q&A session with Earnhardt. A special raffle also allowed a handful of fans to attend the closed-door event.
Playing off its 2011 success, TDJF brought back the “Win Dale Jr.’s Ride” raffle, where more than 7,000 participants purchased tickets that offered the chance to take home Earnhardt's own 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible. The winner was Debbi Atkins from Frisco, Texas. Atkins was a special guest at JR Motorsports on Oct. 30, where Earnhardt hand-delivered the keys.
“Each year we strive to further The Dale Jr. Foundation’s mission of providing resources to underprivileged youth to improve their confidence and education,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports and vice president of The Dale Jr. Foundation. “Each year we seem to exceed our expectations. It’s a tribute to all the great people involved. It takes a ton of hard work from many different people to make the fundraisers a success, and it goes a long way in making a difference in people’s lives. For us, that’s what it’s all about.”
Finally, ride-along experiences with Earnhardt at Charlotte Motor Speedway were offered to TDJF partners and donors. The 10 recipients of the experience and their guests visited the speedway on Nov. 13 for a three-lap ride with Earnhardt in the No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet. The group was also privy to a Q&A session with Earnhardt and Kerry Earnhardt, photos, autographs and individual DVDs documenting the experience.
The funds raised from the three events will be distributed through TDJF’s five categorical avenues of giving: hunger, education, empowerment, wellness and hope. All totaled, more than 20 non-profit charities will benefit from the funds, including Barium Springs Children’s Home, Blessings in a Backpack, Press on Fund to CURE Childhood Cancer, the Make a Wish Foundation, Mooresville Soup Kitchen and the Special Olympics.