For the past 25 years Lorri Shealy Unumb has impacted thousands of children with special needs. As a mother of three, Lorri was deeply impacted when her oldest son, Ryan, was diagnosed with severe autism in 2003 and was devastated to learn that her insurance would not cover the cost of treatment for children with autism. As a result, the 44-year-old Lexington, S.C., resident wrote a law to require insurance coverage and later founded the Autism Academy of South Carolina to help children reach their full potential.
Unumb recently received some fantastic news as she was selected as 1 of 4 finalists nationwide for the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. The NASCAR Board of Directors selected the finalists based, in part, on their contributions to the community, and Unumb was recognized for her volunteer work in the autism community in South Carolina and around the country.
“Being a finalist is a thrill in itself, because each of the 4 finalists receives a $25,000 donation to their designated charity – in my case, the Autism Academy of South Carolina explains Unumb. But one lucky finalist will win the grand prize, which is a $100,000 donation to their charity. As you can imagine, a $100,000 contribution to a small, fledging non-profit like the Autism Academy of South Carolina would have a huge impact on our ability to serve the community”.
The overall winner is determined purely by online voting. Whoever gets the most votes between now and November 29th wins the $100,000 donation. On behalf of the children being served at the Autism Academy of South Carolina, and the many more that would like to attend but cannot afford to, we ask if you would please take a moment to vote – or vote again -- at www.NASCAR.com/award. It is very simple to vote – just click the link, click select button by her name, enter your name and e-mail, and type the two jumbled words. It will take less than a minute of your time to vote but could make the difference of a lifetime for children struggling with autism.
The winner will be announced at NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas on November 30th. You can vote every 24 hours between now and then. Please write me back and let me know if you voted, and thank you so much for your support.
The Unumb family are NASCAR enthusiasts and attending Darlington Raceway races is a family tradition. During college, Lorri won the title of Miss Southern 500 and spent a year representing the sport at Darlington-based races. If Lorri wins the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, she will donate the $100,000 to the Autism Academy of South Carolina.
Visit Lori on facebook at www.facebook.com/lorri.unumb
About the Award
The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award honors the passionate commitment Betty Jane France has demonstrated with her charitable works and community efforts. France has been a pioneer of charitable works in the NASCAR community and serves as Chairwoman and founder of The NASCAR Foundation.
The winner of the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will receive a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to their children’s charity of choice and a 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid from Toyota, while each of the remaining three finalists will receive a $25,000 donation to their children’s charity of choice. All finalists will attend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week where the winner will be announced. See more at www.NASCAR.com/award.