Who says turning 40 is the beginning of the end? For Jeff Gordon, who turned 41 on August 4, it was much more like the restarting of the beginning.
The day before, the Heisman Trust announced that Jeff had been chosen as the seventh recipient of the prestigious Heisman Humanitarian Award, which recognizes those from the sporting world who give significantly of themselves to serve their communities and to improve the life of others.
"NASCAR fans know Jeff Gordon as one of the greatest drivers in the history of stock-car racing," said Heisman Trophy Trust president William J. Dockery. "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."
For the past two years, Drive to End Hunger has been Jeff’s primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, helping the Foundation raise awareness and funds to help end hunger for nearly nine million people 50+ in the U.S.
“No one in the world of sports could do a better job than Jeff has,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, president of AARP Foundation. “His support and generosity have brought the message about senior hunger to millions of people, and to date have helped us provide 13 million meals to struggling people age 50 and above. We are very proud – and not the least bit surprised – that Jeff has received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.”
Jeff is the first Heisman Humanitarian award recipient from the world of motorsports. Previous honorees have included three NFL stars (Warrick Dunn, Marty Lyons and George Martin), soccer standout Mia Hamm, NHL Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine and Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek (water polo).
Jeff will be formally recognized Dec. 10 at the 78th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Dinner in New York. Tickets for the event, the only one during Heisman Weekend that is open to the public, are available for purchase at www.heisman.com.
The day after his birthday, August 5, saw the icing on Jeff’s cake. He steered his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet to his first first-place win this season at the Pennsylvania 400 in Pocono.
Jeff was elated. "After the Heisman award happening here, having our families here, this win, birthday celebrations, life can't get much better than it is right now," he said. "I can tell you that."
AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. The Foundation is dedicated to serving vulnerable people 50+ by creating solutions that help them secure the essentials and achieve their best life. AARP Foundation focuses on: hunger, housing, income and isolation as our key mission areas. The Foundation envisions: “a country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable.” Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AARP. For more information about AARP Foundation, please log on to www.aarpfoundation.org.