On Wednesday, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced the 10 finalists for 2014 in the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program. They include: Champions for Learning in Naples, Fla.; Communities in Schools Spokane in Spokane, Wash.; Crayons to Classrooms in Dayton, Ohio; HEART Tutoring in Charlotte, N.C.; LeMars Community Schools Foundation in LeMars, Iowa; MeckEd in Charlotte; Partnership for Los Angeles Schools in Los Angeles; Reading Partners in Denver, Colo.; Solar One in New York; and Tucson Museum of Art Education Center in Tucson, Ariz.
“It is exciting to see the unique and creative approaches to supporting education through the 10 semifinalist organizations,” Mike Wells, President and CEO, Wells Enterprises, Inc., makers of Blue Bunny ice cream, said. “Each and every one of them brings a passion and commitment to learning that is impressive, and it will be an honor to help provide financial support to the five finalists.”
The semifinalists, all not-for-profits, were chosen from among fan nominations and were chosen for their support of K-12 public education.
“Providing support for K-12 public education is something that has been important to (wife) Chandra and I since we started our foundation,” six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver Jimmie Johnson said. “We are really proud of the work we have been able to do through our relationship with Blue Bunny and the Wells Family. Our team had a tough, tough time narrowing the field of nominations to 10 semifinalists. Now is the fun part – watching to see how each group mobilizes its efforts to get out the vote.”
The five winners of $25,000 grants, Blue Bunny ice cream parties and recognition on the race helmet Johnson will wear during the July 27 Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will also be chosen by fan vote. Fans may vote online at HelmetOfHope.org between April 17 and April 24.
The Helmet of Hope program began in 2008 and has since given a total of over $560,000 to 71 different charitable organizations.