News & Media

Gordon to receive Heisman Humanitarian Award

August 03, 2012, Official Release,

LONG POND, Pa. -- Jeff Gordon has been selected as the seventh recipient of the Heisman Humanitarian Award. The award will be formally presented to the four-time Cup Series champion at the 78th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner on Dec. 10 in New York.

Heisman Trophy trustee Jim Corcoran made the announcement at Pocono Raceway accompanied by Heisman Trophy winners George Rogers and Tim Brown.

Gordon established his foundation after then-crew chief Ray Evernham's son was diagnosed with leukemia in 1992. The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation helps children facing critical illness realize their dreams. As it has grown, it has raised more than $11 million for children's charities through the years.

The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation's mission is to support children battling cancer by funding programs that improve patient's quality of life, treatment programs that increase survivorship and pediatric medical research dedicated to finding a cure. Gordon also opened the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C., in hopes that it will serve as a model to other communities who want to provide the highest quality of care to all children, regardless of their ability to pay.

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"NASCAR fans know Jeff Gordon as one of the greatest drivers in the history of stock-car racing, but to a multitude of children and families facing pediatric cancer, he is something far greater: an ally in their battle to live. Jeff's selfless actions through the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation exemplify all the attributes we look for in a Heisman Humanitarian honoree," said William J. Dockery, Heisman Trophy Trust president. "The

Heisman Trophy Trust is honored to have Jeff become the newest Heisman Humanitarian and join a stellar group of athletes that are truly making a difference in the world."

As part of the award, the Heisman Trophy Trust will donate $50,000 to the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation.

Gordon's primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series is the AARP Foundation's Drive to End Hunger, an initiative that seeks to eradicate hunger for nine million people over the age of 50. To date, the program has donated more than 12.9 million meals and driven donor commitments with an expected value of $16.9 million.

The Heisman Trust's mission is to preserve the integrity of the Heisman Trophy and to provide opportunities for underserved youth and other members of society. Since the Trust assumed stewardship of the Heisman Trophy in 2001, it has made donations in excess of $4 million to over 200 charities throughout the country, affecting countless children. The Heisman Humanitarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize those in the world of sports who give significantly of themselves to serve their communities and to improve the lives of others.

Gordon joins a group of former Heisman Humanitarian winners that includes Joey Cheek, Olympic speed skating gold medalist, for his dedication and contributions to the children of Darfur; George Martin, former New York Giants defensive end, who walked across America to raise funds for rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks; Pat LaFontaine, former NHL star, who through his Companions in Courage Foundation, helped to build interactive playrooms in children's hospitals to keep young patients connected to family and friends; Mia Hamm, retired soccer player and Olympic gold medalist, who raises funds and awareness for families needing marrow or cord blood transplants and continues to work toward the growth in opportunities for young women in sports; Warrick Dunn, former NFL running back, who has provided homes for single parent families in honor of his late mother; and Marty Lyons, University of Alabama and New York Jets defensive tackle, whose foundation fulfills the special wishes of children with terminal or life-threatening illness.

Tickets to the Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner are available for purchase at The Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner is the only event during Heisman Weekend that is open to the public.