Posted By: Michael Cecchin
In the world of NASCAR no driver besides the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. has been as popular as Jeff Gordon. The 1991 Busch Series Rookie of the Year and 3-time Daytona 500 winner has been the face of NASCAR for a good part of the last decade. Like all superstars and highly covered athletes, Gordon’s focus and determination off the speedway has always been just as important as his success and skill while on the track. His skill and success, as well as his kind hearted acts within the community, have easily made him a fan favourite and one of the most marketable drivers in NASCAR history.
Aside from numerous victories and achievements, Jeff Gordon has always been an active member in support of children’s health care, providing opportunity for success for kids who suffer from life-threatening and chronic illnesses. In 1999, the Jeff Gordon Foundation was established in efforts to provide financial grants and opportunity for sick children. Gordon himself has been very involved in his dedication to making a difference for the lives of young children, working close with Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and even providing $1.5 million in efforts to establish the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Laboratory.
His work started very early in his career dating back to 1992 when the son of Gordon’s crew chief’s son was diagnosed with a critical illness. Jeff was then inspired to help children facing similar uphill battles realize and conquer their dreams, making what started out as a small project into a multi-million dollar foundation providing care for thousands of kids.
His never ending work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and his involvement in starting Athletes for Hope with some of sports finest including Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, Muhammad Ali and many more, only adds to his long resume of charity work and care initiatives. Jeff Gordon also works with legislators on Capitol Hill in a push to ensure the support of the National Bone Marrow and Cord Blood Registries assisting both children and adults in need of a transplant match for their treatment of cancer and other blood related diseases.
To this day the Jeff Gordon Foundation, now know as the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, has granted more than $11 million for children’s charities and causes. In 2009, he received the Silver Buffalo Award; the highest Boy Scouts of America award for his work as a scout receiver and his generous humanitarian acts. Remaining highly active within the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, he is involved with many organization initiatives and makes a number of appearances.
Jeff’s never ending work ethic to help others has made this NASCAR champion into a champion of the people. His success and wit on the speedway is matched everyday by his charisma and love off the race track, a hero and role model for all walks of life.
To learn more about the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, visit http://www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org/site/c.5oIDJRPyGfISF/b.5968391/k.BE06/Home.htm