Childress Named 2008 NASCAR Home Depot Humanitarian

Last week a trip to New York City was not just about the awards ceremony for the NASCAR Sprint Champion. The day before, on December 4th at Cipriani during the NPMA Myers Brothers Media Luncheon, Richard Childress received the 2008 NASCAR Home Depot Humanitarian Award and $100,000 for the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Childress donated $5 million dollars to establish this pediatic trauma center.

NASCAR and Home Depot established this award in 2007 as a way, “to recognize someone within the NASCAR community who gives back to the community and others.” said Katherine Cornelius, Home Depot’s Motorsports Marketing Manager. Nominations are received from anyone within the NASCAR community which includes, NASCAR, teams, drivers and select media.

“A Blue Ribbon Committee which includes select representatives from NASCAR, Home depot as well as motorsports media goes through the nominations and takes in to consideration what the individual has done and what the contribution to the community was, ” continued Cornelius. “Then, for lack of better words, we score them and identify 3 finalists. Those finalists are notified and brought to New York where it is announced for the first time who receives the award.”

The other finalists included Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman, founder of Racing For Wildlife with The Conservation Fund and animal rights activists and Artie Kempner, Coordinating Director of NASCAR for Fox Sports and founder of The Autism Society of Delaware. Each semifinalist received $25, 000 for their charity.

In a video found on their website, Dr.Charles L Branch Jr, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, says there is a profound shortage of pediatric trauma specialists and that most deaths of children in the US are due to injury. And of those pediatric injuries that do not result in death, over 100,000 children are left with various disabilities. Additionally, according to the CDC the death toll from pediatic trauma alone is more than all other causes of pediatric death combined.

These are staggering statistics. Research funding is terrifyingly inadequate. Consider this…the government spent less than 10 cents per person on child injury research which is much less than for many other funded research projects. Can you believe that? The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma can help with research and development of valuable life saving treatments for our children. This knowledge will be shared with other treatment centers all across the country. This center can impact us all in one way or another. After all, our children are the most precious thing in the world to us.

From this video, Childress says, “Winning is a team effort. No one wins alone.” That is so true, Richard.

Some of you may be thinking that everyone wants money for something during the holiday season. That may be true. But can we gamble with our children’s lives? And until more is learned about how to treat these injuries, our children are dying at a rate greater than 12,300 a year. Traumatic injury is an equal opportunity destroyer of our children, our families and our lives.

To learn more about the Childress Institute For Pediatric Trauma please visit their website at Watch the video, please. If you can help click on “support the institute”. With everyone’s help this institute can help win one of the greatest races our children face…the race to survive injury and trauma.

And for many of your holiday needs visit

Author: Marty Tyler

Asst. Editor/Senior Staff Writer