About the Event
The NASCAR Foundation’s inaugural Honors Gala, hosted on September 27, 2016 in New York at the Marriott Marquis, raised $1.6 million to benefit hospitalized children across the country through the Speediatrics Children’s Fund. This marks further national expansion for The Foundation which has donated more than $25 million and reached one million children in need since 2006. Through an evening of celebration, recognition and entertainment, attendees saw highlights of the remarkable programs and contributions to children and children’s causes since the Foundation’s inception in 2006 and helped launch the focus for the next 10 years.
The Gala paid tribute to Betty Jane France who unexpectedly passed away on Aug. 29 and was hosted by the France family including NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (son) and his wife Amy France, International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy (daughter) and NASCAR Vice Chairman Jim France (brother-in-law).
At the event, the sixth annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide was awarded to Andy Hoffman, Founder of Team Jack Foundation. Hoffman, who will receive a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation, started the Team Jack Foundation after his son developed pediatric brain cancer, and has raised $3 million to help eradicate the disease since 2011.
Hoffman won the award following an online fan vote on NASCAR.com. This year’s other finalists included Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday’s Children; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla’s Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. Each of these finalists’ charities will receive a $25,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation.
Additional honorees at the gala, recognized for their commitment to child-focused philanthropy, included Dr. Howard B. Ginsburg, Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery at NYU Langone and Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting and Sports.
The NASCAR Foundation commemorated a multiyear partnership with NYU Langone at the Gala and will donate $1 million to enhance the Child Life Program at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone.
The Honors Gala was hosted by Krista Voda of NBC Sports and featured a special appearance by NBC’s Hoda Kotb. The evening also featured performances by Grammy® and Tony® nominated singer Sara Bareilles.
The following NASCAR champions and stars in attendance were: six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champions Martin Truex Jr., two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., NASCAR Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series Champion Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Ty Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Ben Kennedy, Julia Landauer, Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick, Eddie Wood, Len Wood and NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood.