Camp Thunderbird's Kaye and Bill Carraway
NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick has donated $34,000 to The Charlotte Observer’s Summer Camp Fund, the amount needed to help the fund reach its goal to give more children a chance to go to camp next year.
Hendrick, last year’s honorary chairman of the annual fundraising drive, said he came to realize how important it is to give children from low-income families the experience and opportunities that summer camp offers.
“Over the last few years, our family has learned so much about issues impacting our young people,” Hendrick said in a statement. “The success of the Summer Camp Fund really highlights the generosity and compassion of our community, and we’ve been proud to join with so many of our neighbors in supporting it.”
As of Friday, the Summer Camp Fund received donations totaling more than $190,000, which enables the non-profit to qualify for an additional $25,000 grant from the Leon Levine Foundation.
“I am thankful for Mr. Hendrick’s big heart,” Charlotte Observer publisher Ann Caulkins said. “For him, it’s all about the kids.”
Former Observer publisher Rolfe Neill, this year’s honorary fundraising chairman, also thanked Hendrick and the newspaper readers who donated.
“Observer reader donations from the heart created unforgettable memories for young people that can’t be measured in dollars,” Neill said. “Thank you for believing in possibilities and then writing your check. You made summer camp possible for hundreds of children.”
In his statement, Hendrick praised Neill: “It’s inspiring to see how Charlotte responds when there’s a need–leaders like Rolfe and organizations like the Leon Levine Foundation. I know people will continue to step up and do more.”
Rick and Linda Hendrick have a long history of supporting the Summer Camp Fund and many other charitable organizations, including the Leon Levine Foundation and Together We Feed, a hunger and poverty-fighting organization founded by their daughter, Lynn Carlson.
Rick Hendrick is the owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of the Hendrick Automotive Group. His team has included race car drivers Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne.
He was named this year’s Citizen of The Carolinas by the Charlotte Chamber for his contributions to the business world, NASCAR and different charities.