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Submit nominations for Betty Jane France award

March 28, 2012, Official Release,

First Humanitarian winner honored with street name in hometown Talladega

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- As the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award nominations kick into high gear, the contest's 2011 winner, Robert Weaver, will have a street named in his honor Friday in Talladega, Ala. The city of Talladega is recognizing Weaver by renaming a street "Weaver Way" to acknowledge his charitable accomplishments.

Nominations for the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award are open through May 31at NASCAR.COM/foundation.

"Suffice to say that Robert Weaver is well-deserving of this latest honor," said France, chairwoman of the NASCAR Foundation. "He was chosen as our inaugural award winner last year from an unbelievable list of nominees.

"The past several months have been such a whirlwind ... it is all simply overwhelming."



Honor their efforts

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is looking for champions in our communities who represent the generosity of our sport.

"We're currently accepting our 2012 nominations, and we want to urge everyone to get involved in that process. There are a lot of Robert Weaver-type individuals out there in NASCAR Nation, people who personify all that is good about our sport."

"Mr. Weaver has been an icon within the city for decades, and we were elated to see his lifetime of volunteerism rewarded when he was presented with the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award," said Brian Muenger, Talladega city manager. "The city of Talladega is truly blessed to have Mr. Weaver amongst our residents and is pleased to name a street in his honor as a token of our appreciation for his selfless dedication."

Robert Weaver has been volunteering with Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind for more than 50 years. In addition to his monthly charitable endeavors, the 84-year-old dedicates 30 hours a week to helping children in the organization. This passionate NASCAR fan's many contributions range from creating intramural basketball teams and bowling programs to teaching students how to ride tricycles.

"The past several months have been such a whirlwind -- all of the excitement surrounding being a finalist and then the inaugural winner of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and now having an actual street that bears my name in my hometown -- it is all simply overwhelming," Weaver said.

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award honors the steadfast commitment France has demonstrated on behalf of charities and community works throughout her life. France, the mother of NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France, is credited with creating the Speediatrics concept, a pediatric unit with a racing-themed décor at both the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach and the Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla.

Nominations for the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award are based upon multiple criteria including a long-term commitment to children's causes, how the donation from the NASCAR Foundation would be used, impact on the local community, dedication for their efforts and passion for the sport of NASCAR.

* Video: Humanitarian efforts have far-reaching impact

The winner of the second annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will receive expense paid trips to a Sprint Cup Series race weekend and the 2012 NChampion's Week in Las Vegas in December, as well as a 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid and $100,000 for donation to the children's charity of their choice from the NASCAR Foundation. The other three finalists will receive a $25,000 donation from the NASCAR Foundation to a children's charity of their choice, as well as the expense paid trips to a Sprint Cup Series event and Las Vegas. For more information about the NASCAR Foundation and the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, please visit NASCAR.COM/foundation.

Last year, Weaver, along with three other finalists, was selected by the NASCAR Foundation board of directors from hundreds of applicants who all made a significant impact on the lives of children through volunteerism or charitable work during the past five years. The grand prize was $100,000 along with three $25,000 prizes all of whom were donated by the NASCAR Foundation to the charity of each winner's choice.

-- Weaver won $100,000, which he donated to an endowment for the children of Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in his name.

-- Patty Aber, from Middletown, N.J., gave her $25,000 gift to Bridge of Books Foundation which allowed it to hire much-needed staff for its day-to-day operations, purchase books and purchase supplies necessary to operate efficiently.

-- Jake Bernstein, from St. Louis, donated his $25,000 to Autism Speaks to support its mission of advocacy and research.

-- Brenda Doner, from Columbus, Ohio, used her prize as a $25,000 donation to expand PBJ Connection's space and extend its services to more children in the program.