About three months ago, at a fundraising event in Cornelius, I met and talked with a woman who was providing hot dogs and chips to patrons in exchange for a donation to the charity.
Last week, as I was having my hair cut, also in Cornelius, the same woman walked in. It appears we also have the same hairdresser.
The woman, Julie Littlefield of Mooresville, and I starting talking again, about fundraising and charity events. Littlefield is collecting NASCAR items to be auctioned for charity.
Littlefield said she has "a lot of free time because of health problems. ... I help out at Davidson College with the fraternities. I like doing stuff like this, working for good causes."
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She found out about her current charity through a Facebook page. Being a NASCAR fan, Littlefield is a member of "a race page, where a lot of racecar drivers are. You have to be asked in to join. I got in through my mom, who has gotten to be friends with them," she said.
Littlefield is working with the Rev. Randall Jackson's ministry and New Generation Motorsports Marketing, based in Youngsville. Jackson lives in Huntersville and, through his "Run to Christ Ministry," goes to the racetracks and prays with the drivers and leads Bible studies.
New Generation handles the publicity for about 15 NASCAR drivers. The company's marketing director, Ed Heintz, met the marketing director for Racing Plus, a company that handles stores and NASCAR apparel.
All these people and companies teamed up to support two charities: North Carolina-based Ride to the Rock for Autism and the national charity The March of Dimes.
Now Littlefield is helping gather NASCAR collectables for the auction, scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Kmart store across from the Daytona Speedway in Florida. (In fact, Kmart in Daytona is not officially announcing this auction until Monday.) If you want more information, call the Kmart in Daytona: 386-252-9691.
Littlefield has collected some donations so far but is looking for more. She has an autographed Sam Bass print from Dale Earnhardt's sixth win, donated by her son, Aaron, who's a student at Western Carolina University. She has collected a charcoal print of Jimmie Johnson; and Jessie Johnson, Jimmie's little brother, has donated a car.
She has also gone to the race shops, asking for items for the auction.
"All the NASCAR people are so down-to-earth," she said. "Tony Stewart was talking to me like he's known me forever. ... Kurt and Kyle Busch donated.... Danica Patrick was so pretty and nice.... Kevin Harvick is going to sign a life-sized standup."
Littlefield said they are still looking for donations for the auction and will make the necessary arrangements to pick up the merchandise. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jackson at 910-540-5693.
Littlefield wanted to make sure everyone knows that 100 percent of what is raised goes to the two charities.