Backpack Beginnings founder gets $25K through NASCAR Foundation contest
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The NASCAR Foundation presented Greensboro native Parker White with a check for $25,000 for being one of four finalists for the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award contest. The finalists were honored during the NASCAR Foundation’s inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on Tuesday night.
As a finalist, White — founder of the nonprofit BackPack Beginnings — received an expense-paid trip to New York. Accompanying White at the Honors Gala, were Hope Academy student and Greensboro native, Tanevia and her mother Aviance McCollum. This mother and daughter represent just one of the many families that benefit from the hard work of Parker White and the all-volunteer staff of BackPack Beginnings.
BackPack Beginnings, founded in 2010, is a 100 percent volunteer-run and donor-driven organization. What started out as a feeding program in one school feeding 50 children has grown to a multi-program organization serving approximately 4,000 children a year. During the 2014-15 school year, the Food BackPack Program sends nutritious, kid-friendly food home on the weekends to over 1,300 children in 25 Guilford County Title 1 schools and Head Start programs.
“The journey of being a finalist for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award has been an amazing opportunity! The exposure brought to BackPack Beginnings is immeasurable, and it is an honor to be part of her legacy,” said White.
During her time in New York, White joined the other Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists for the red carpet treatment leading up to the Honors Gala. Some of the events they took part in included visiting the 9/11 Tribute Center, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty.
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 award recognizes outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of selfless NASCAR fans, which is exemplified by White’s work.
During the Honors Gala, the finalists were introduced by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers throughout the evening.
- Jimmie Johnson introduced Parker White, representing BackPack Beginnings
- Kyle Busch introduced Jim Giaccone, representing Tuesday’s Children
- Martin Truex, Jr. introduced Andy Hoffman, representing Team Jack Foundation
- Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. introduced Logan Houptley, representing Mikayla’s Voice
Vice chairman of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Mike Helton, Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalist Parker White and Chief Executive Officer of Jon Hall Automotive Group Glenn Ritchey attend First Annual NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A fan vote throughout the summer months and into early fall decided the grand prize winner, Andy Hoffman from Team Jack Foundation. His charity will receive a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to further research into finding a cure for pediatric brain cancer, a disease which affected his son Jack.