This was the weekend of the Run to Victory Half Marathon and 5 Mile run/walk, our race that benefits the Victory Junction Gang Camp, in Randleman, NC. Founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty, the camp serves children with chronic diseases. You can read more about the camp at: http://www.runtovictory.com
Last year, with the help of very generous participants, we were able to raise $65,000. This year, with the help of Sprint as the presenting sponsor and the overwhelming generosity of the participants we were able raise over $120,000. It's an amazing place and it's our privilege to be a part of their fund-raising efforts.
At the end of the day, though, it's a race - and a JBR race - which means we want to make sure the everyone knows that we celebrate the achievements of those at the front and the accomplishments of those throughout the pack. Especially at this race, where the focus is on the challenges faced by the children and families, we make very sure that everyone knows how much their effort means.
So, from the moment that Richard Petty waves the green flag the race becomes a moving reminder of what a small group of passionate people can do, and how much they can change the lives of others by their efforts. Of all the races that I've done, and those of which I've been a part, none compares to the spirit and energy of the Run to Victory.
Finishing on the Victory Circle everyone gets a chance to see many of the buildings on the camp. If you're a NASCAR fan it's better than going to Disneyworld. That's the Hendrick Fuel Stop in the photo with Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon's cars on top. Down the hill Kyle Busch's car sits on top of the Superdome.
Kyle and Pattie, and their son Austin, spent 4 hours on the finish line greeting everyone who came across the line. And can't think of another event where finishing means so much. Everyone there knows that the money raised helps the children. The camp doesn't charge the "campers" and the dollars that the event brings in make it possible for the camp to serve many, MANY, more children.
The work, of course, doesn't end with the race. You can still contribute to the 2007 race and beginning on January 1st you can help us meet our goal of raising $200,000 at the 2008 event.
My thanks to everyone who was there, and each of you that contributed. And I hope that you will all plan to join us on December 7, 2008 for the 3rd Annual Run to Victory.