DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – The NASCAR Foundation will host its first-ever Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City Sept. 27 to unveil the winner of its signature Betty France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide. Multi-platinum selling pop star Rachel Platten will perform live with music from her major-label debut, Wildfire, which debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 Chart in the U.S. and spawned chart-topping singles “Fight Song” and “Stand by You.”
The gala will celebrate “10 Years of Giving” for the NASCAR Foundation which has donated $25 million to more than one million children since its inception in 2006.
Betty Jane France, Founder and Chairwoman Emeritus of The NASCAR Foundation, will present the Humanitarian Award to the NASCAR fan who has shown tremendous dedication to improving the lives of children in their communities. This Award has benefitted nearly 200,000 children since launching six years ago and the winner will be chosen following a public vote of four finalists that begins July 13.
At the event, The NASCAR Foundation will hand out a series of awards including its first-ever Founder’s Award to Mark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group. The Founder’s Award honors contributions to philanthropy through use of time, talent and resources – both personally and professionally – to make a meaningful impact on the lives of children.
Lazarus serves on the board of governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as well as the board of directors for the Atlanta-based East Lake Foundation, helping families build better lives through community revitalization with mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education, and health and wellness programs.
“Mark is simply an exceptional individual and we could not have chosen a more deserving person to receive this inaugural award,” France said. “This will make the evening even more memorable and we thank all of our partners for their continued support.”
In addition, the annual Children’s Champion Award will be given to a medical professional that has showcased significant contributions, leadership, and dedication to enriching the lives of children.
The NASCAR Foundation will also announce the launch of the Speediatrics Children’s Fund through a long-term partnership with a New York-area medical organization providing services to children in need. Today, The NASCAR Foundation helps provide state-of-the-art medical treatment to more than 50,000 children annually.
“It is exciting to host this event in New York, the home of many great philanthropists, and to honor individuals that give so much of their personal time and energy towards helping others,” said The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Lorene King. “We would like to thank Nationwide and all our partners for their support as we look back on what we have accomplished in 10 years and look forward to achieving even more going forward.”
The event will also host a live auction featuring the artwork of the 2015 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide winner Jeff Hanson, a philanthropic artist whose artwork gifted to charity has generated nearly $2 million.