Nationwide increases contribution to Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists

BJFHA press conference photo-2000

From left to right: Lorene King, executive director of the NASCAR Foundation, Bob Bowler, Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalist, and Terrance Williams, chief marketing officer of Nationwide

For the past 31 years, Bob Bowler from Special Olympics North Carolina has helped thousands of children with special needs. His selfless efforts have earned him the nickname “Mr. Special Olympics.” On Friday, he received another title….Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalist.

Officials from the NASCAR Foundation and Nationwide announced the four finalists for the award during a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide honors the commitment that the NASCAR Foundation’s Chairwoman, Betty Jane France, has demonstrated throughout her life to philanthropy and community service. The award is presented annually to a dedicated NASCAR fan that has made a profound impact on the lives of children in their community.

The honor came as a surprise to Bob.

“I’m just so humbled and appreciative to the NASCAR Foundation and Nationwide for everything they’ve done for me today,” said Bob. “Being named a finalist will draw even more attention to the work that we do with these very special people.”

The surprises didn’t end there. During the press conference, Nationwide Chief Marketing Officer Terrance Williams announced that Nationwide will be donating $5,000 to the charities of each of the four finalists. He is also encouraging Nationwide associates who live near each of the finalists to volunteer with their charities.

“We want to do more than just write a check for these finalists,” said Williams. “Nationwide has a culture of volunteerism. We want to improve the communities in which our members and associates live and work.”

The winner of the 2015 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide will be announced in December during the Champions Celebration in Las Vegas. The winner’s charity will receive a $100,000 donation from the NASCAR Foundation and Nationwide. Fans can vote for who they think should win the award by visiting www.nascar.com/award. Voting will close on Dec. 3 at 11:59 p.m. ET.