NEW YORK (AP) — The NASCAR Foundation has awarded the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to the founder of an organization dedicated to funding pediatric brain cancer research.
Team Jack Foundation was presented with the $100,000 award during The NASCAR Foundation's inaugural Honors Gala on Tuesday night.
The award honors the philanthropic ideals of the late Betty Jane France, who started The NASCAR Foundation in 2006. Andy Hoffman, from Atkinson, Nebraska, was chosen via an online fan vote on NASCAR.com.
Team Jack was founded by Hoffman and his wife, Brianna, in 2013 after their son, Jack, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Team Jack works to raise research funds and create national awareness of pediatric brain cancer.
"Receiving this award is truly a reflection of all of those amazing people that helped support the Team Jack Foundation since day one," Hoffman said. "Winning this award, literally, could be the difference between life or death for a child someday. Our hope is that the $100,000 donation will provide the seed money for us to help fund yet another clinical trial."
The three other finalists, who each received $25,000 from The NASCAR Foundation, were: Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing the New York-based Tuesday's Children organization; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of the Mikayla's Voice organization in Nazareth, Pennsylvania; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings.
"Andy is a deserving award winner and the Team Jack Foundation a deserving beneficiary of our $100,000 donation," said Mike Helton, chairman of The NASCAR Foundation and NASCAR's vice chairman. "The story of the Team Jack Foundation is emotional and inspiring. Tonight's presentation continues the high standards of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and honors the memory of Betty Jane France."
This year's award presentation is the highlight of the "10 Years of Giving" celebration for The NASCAR Foundation, which has donated approximately $25 million to impact the lives of children since its inception in 2006.
The Honors Gala raised more than $1.6 million to benefit hospitalized children across the country through the recently established Speediatrics Children's Fund.