Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Come Together in an Initiative to Refresh America's Communities

Hendrick Motorsports Drivers to Campaign for Pepsi Refresh Project Ideas on NASCAR.com

Jun 04, 2010, 15:00 ET from PepsiCo North America

PURCHASE, N.Y., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are asking fans to join them in making a difference in America's communities through the Pepsi Refresh Project. Now through June 23, NASCAR fans are encouraged to visit www.NASCAR.com/PepsiRefresh to vote for the idea they believe should receive a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Each of the three Hendrick Motorsports drivers has outlined an idea for a project about which they are passionate.

  • Gordon: establishing a program to support the treatment, care and protection of abused children
  • Johnson: providing financial relief to pediatric bone marrow transplant patients  
  • Earnhardt: building a computer lab for elementary students

The driver's idea with the most votes by 6:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 23 will receive a $100,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project to fulfill their idea.

Gordon's initiative would support abused children through treatment, care, and protection at the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) at Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in North Carolina.  The grant would fund a new Child Life Program that aids physically and sexually abused youth by supporting them through age-specific therapeutic play and rapport-building. This child-sensitive approach emphasizes early intervention, coordinated investigations and allied responses to this growing community problem.

"One in five boys and one in three girls are sexually or physically abused in the United States, which is a shocking and ugly statistic," said Gordon. "With the Pepsi Refresh Project, we're hoping to help the long-term physical and emotional health of these innocent children."

Johnson's project focuses on providing financial relief to pediatric transplant patients by assisting with uninsured expenses after transplant through the Be The Match Foundation's Transplant Grants for Kids program. On average, marrow transplant families experience a $1,472 shortfall between their current monthly income and monthly expenses due to increased medical bills and often the loss of a parent's income.

"With the Pepsi Refresh Project, it is easy to make a difference, all you need is an idea," said Johnson. "While a marrow transplant can be a life-saving treatment, it takes a significant financial toll on a family. This project gives us an avenue to help families with their uninsured expenses."

Earnhardt is hoping to secure the grant to support technology needs at Shepherd Elementary School in Mooresville, NC, a school that desperately needs better equipment to help enrich the lives of its many students. Funds will be used to build a new computer lab, purchase 20 new computers, and a SMART board.

"Our future lies in the hands of our children but they cannot acquire the skills they need to compete in a digital world when they don't have the essential tools," said Earnhardt. "A Pepsi Refresh grant is a quick and easy way to make a positive impact on America's communities."

The Pepsi Refresh Project is a groundbreaking effort to foster innovation in social good that will award more than $20 million this year to fund great ideas that help impact the world. Throughout 2010, Pepsi will fund ideas that will move the world forward in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education. The Pepsi Refresh Project, which launched Jan. 13, features significant social engagement around people and the power of ideas. People are encouraged to submit their ideas and to cast a vote for their favorite ideas at www.refresheverything.com.

About Pepsi

Pepsi is a product of PepsiCo Beverages Americas (PBA).  In addition to the Pepsi trademark, the PBA portfolio includes the Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and Mug trademarks in the carbonated soft drink category. PBA is a division of PepsiCo, Inc., which offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. In recognition of its continued sustainability efforts, PepsiCo was named for the third time to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and for the fourth time to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America) in 2009. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

SOURCE PepsiCo North America



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