MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Gale Fontaine has worked at the Roanoke, Va., Department of Motor Vehicles for 31 years. But because of a single $25 raffle ticket she purchased as part of the “Win Dale Jr.’s Ride” promotion, the vehicle she now drives is the envy of most motorists who visit her workplace on a daily basis.
“I still can’t believe we won,” Fontaine said. “I’ve been a Dale Jr. fan since day one. When I got the call that I won, I was at work. My boss said, ‘Did you win the lottery?’ I said, ‘Well, yes I did! I won the Camaro!’ It was exciting. I bought that ticket because I’m a Dale Jr. fan, the Camaro is a great-looking car, and because the money goes to The Dale Jr. Foundation.”
Fontaine’s ticket was randomly selected among thousands, making her the new owner of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS that Earnhardt drove off the line at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. She arrived with her husband, Carle, at JR Motorsports last Tuesday to take ownership of her grand prize. What she did not expect was that it would be Earnhardt himself handing over the keys.
“She was pretty excited,” said Earnhardt. “It was great to meet Gale and Carle, and I appreciate them and everyone else who bought tickets and helped raise money for the foundation. This proved to be a very successful raffle, and it gave us a lot of momentum heading into our big ‘Driven To Give’ event later this month.”
The “Win Dale Jr.’s Ride” promotion raised more than $144,000. A large part will be devoted to help combat child hunger. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, in 2010 more than 16 million American children lived in food insecure (low food security) households and 22 percent of children lived in poverty.
This marks the second donation made by The Dale Jr. Foundation to help the fight against child hunger in 2011. In August, the organization donated $28,000 for the second consecutive year to Jackson Elementary School (Kannapolis, N.C.) through the Blessings in a Backpack program. Blessings in a Backpack provides food on the weekends to children dependent on school lunches as their primary food source.
David Kelsoe of Alvin, Texas won the runner-up prize, which includes roundtrip airfare for two and admission to The Dale Jr. Foundation’s “Driven To Give” event hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on Oct. 17 in Charlotte, N.C. Deborah Claycamp from Jefferson, Ind., won a VIP package to the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 14.
Additionally, The Dale Jr. Foundation selected three hunger-prevention organizations from each of the winners’ respective hometowns to receive funds raised by the “Win Dale Jr.’s Ride” program.
The list of beneficiaries includes: Feeding America / Southwest Virginia Backpack Program (Salem, Va.), Alvin Community Food Pantry (Alvin, Texas), Barium Springs Home for Children (Troutman, N.C.), Christian Mission Food Pantry (Mooresville, N.C.), Feeding America Food Bank (Jefferson, Ind.), Kannapolis Food Pantry (Kannapolis, N.C.), Mooresville Soup Kitchen (Mooresville, N.C.), St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Mooresville, N.C.) and Stop Child Abuse Now (Iredell County, N.C.).