K.C. man wins Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award
December 07, 2013, NASCAR.com
The NASCAR Foundation is proud to announce Don Post, event chairman of the March of Dimes Kansas City chapter’s “Bikers for Babies” motorcycle ride, as the winner of the third annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France announced the winner during Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas -- the official coronation of 2013 champion Jimmie Johnson.
“Don Post is a hero, pure and simple,” said The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France. “We have so much respect for his accomplishments in the face of personal adversity along with his commitment to helping children who face their own adversity. His story is inspiring, and truly personifies what our award is all about.
“Not only are we honored to present him the third annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, we are honored just to know him.”
In 1980, Post’s life was forever changed when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” and was told he only had three to five years to live. He retired from his professional job, and despite the ALS diagnosis, he embarked on a 33-year mission of donating his time and talent to charities in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Post has served on boards of directors and executive committees for a number of non-profit organizations and mentored many young children diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He has been a member on the March of Dimes “Bikers for Babies” motorcycle ride committee for 12 years, and has been the event’s chairman since 2010.
The $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation will be used to help grow and develop existing March of Dimes programs, including research on how to improve the health of newborns, funding for educational initiatives and community programs such as support groups that help parents cope with their baby’s hospitalization, transition home and even death. Post also receives a new 2014 Chevrolet SS from Chevrolet.
In only its third year, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award has donated $525,000 to individuals who are improving children’s lives in their respective communities. With the annual presentation of the award, The NASCAR Foundation’s mission is to honor passionate volunteers and NASCAR fans making an impact with children in their local communities and reflecting the commitment Betty Jane France has demonstrated with her charitable works and community efforts.
“I am truly blessed to be receiving this award from The NASCAR Foundation and I’m even more thrilled to be able to provide $100,000 to the March of Dimes, an organization that is dear to me,” said Post. “The funds will be used to continue the mission of ensuring healthy babies are brought into this world, especially locally in Wyandotte County where premature births and infant mortality rates are above the norm. My love and thanks goes out to all who supported me in this vote.”
Post was chosen as the winner from a group of four finalists by a national fan vote on www.NASCAR.com. The finalists have collectively dedicated 87 years for their charities and impacted nearly 20,000. The volunteers who each received a $25,000 donation to their supporting charities, in recognition of being named as a finalist for the award, are: Duncan Dobie of Marietta, Ga., representing Camp Sunshine; Lisa Hall of Bedford, N.H., supporting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children); and Richard Johnson of St. Johns, Fla., backing The Alpha-1 Foundation. The four finalists were selected by The NASCAR Foundation board of directors from applicants who have made a significant impact on the lives of children through volunteerism or charitable work. The announcement culminated an eight-week period during which the four finalists promoted their causes and asked fans to vote for them to receive the top award.