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NASCAR, volunteers bag donations for military

July 09, 2012, , NASCAR.com



NASCAR, volunteers bag donations for military

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Boy Scouts and other volunteers filled clear plastic bags with personal items last week that are on the way from Daytona International Speedway to military personnel serving at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

The effort coincides with Goodyear's use of tires that have "Support Our Troops" emblazoned on the sidewalls and concludes a six-week stretch in which NASCAR and its partners have shown their support of men and women serving in uniform. Conducted under the banner of the NASCAR Foundation and NASCAR Unites, the program began Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and ends shortly after the Fourth of July.

Last week marked the third year Goodyear has undertaken its "Support Our Troops" program, with the slogan written on the sidewalls of the tires that Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars will employ during events this weekend at the 2.5-mile track. The Camping World Truck Series vehicles will use tires bearing the same message for their race this week at Iowa Speedway. It coincides with a "Goodyear Gives Back" effort in which 5,000 care packages including items such as hand sanitizer, sunscreen, deodorant, lip balm and popcorn were compiled by volunteers. UPS is shipping the packages overseas at no cost.

"It's just a way to kind of get the awareness of the program out there," Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales, said of the message written on the tires. "What better sign than our tires throughout the course of our weekend? ... It's just a way to get it out there and let everyone know it's important to us."

NASCAR president Mike Helton said the "Support Our Troops" program has "really resonated well throughout the industry, particularly with fans." Martin Boire, chairman of SupportOurTroops.org., said the effort is also appreciated on the receiving end.

"I'm here to tell you, it makes all the difference in the world to these men and women when stuff shows up from home," Boire said. "It makes their life a little easier. It tells them that people know about them, care about them, will stand up for them. This is a supply line that runs right from the living room, right from the company in America, all the way to the front foxholes over there. When they know we're with them, it makes all the difference in their morale."