Cindy has been a Tony Stewart fan for years – back to his IRL days. She shares, “I met his mom several years ago and that sealed the deal. I have proudly worn and collected Tony Stewart memorabilia ever since. My brother-in-law has even bid (and won) TS items during charity auctions so I am a very proud owner of a framed autographed and authenticated Tony Stewart leather jacket. I am truly blessed!” Asked about her favorite type of racing, Cindy responded, “WOW – that’s a loaded question! In my early years when living in Indiana, the Indy 500 was THE race and I looked forward to the month of May UNTIL the first Brickyard 400 in 1994. I have been to the NHRA US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway (as it is now known) and have also had a chance to hit a couple dirt tracks! I think it is safe to say that I have a love for anything racing however my heart belongs to NASCAR.
In following Tony’s career along with meetings Pam a.k.a. “Mama Smoke”, I was impressed with Tony’s giving nature and wanted to help support his foundation. My personal giving journey started when I sat on a major gifts committee for the American Heart Association and learned about the many different ways to give. I purchased a life insurance policy and made the beneficiary the AHA as a way to honor my dad who died of a massive heart attack when he was just 50 and full of life. I know his legacy will live on through me and the money will save someone’s life someday.
For me, deciding to make donations to Tony’s foundation was a way I could help support my favorite driver and his charitable mission in real time. Unlike the life insurance policy I purchased to honor my dad, being a Lap Leader is a way to see my donation at work TODAY! It is also a way for me to be personally involved – I can help others (children, injured drivers and animals) less fortunate realize their dreams and know I am a part of making it happen! In our crazy, fast-paced and hectic world, the Lap Leaders’ monthly giving program is one of the EASIEST things I can do to make a difference. My gift is automatically deducted every month without me having to remember to make the donation or write a check.
Anyone can be a Lap Leader – it is so easy and just $10 a month will get you started! My monthly gift is unrestricted. I know that the Foundation has the best knowledge of where the money is needed and I trust them to help determine where my gift would have the most impact. I want the Foundation to have the flexibility to use my donation where it is needed the most.
I love going to races and the Bristol night race had been on my bucket list for a long time. My fiancé and I finally checked Bristol off our bucket list and we have been going every year since! We also love going to Homestead for the last race of the season and we have talked about making the Phoenix race as well as Martinsville! For my favorite track, it’s hard to top Bristol, I mean the night race is a life changing experience – everyone needs to see the hauler parade at least once in their lifetime! Bristol is also all about making sure your race experience is top class. Also of note is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as that track and the memories it holds for me have a special place in my racing heart. It is also the track where I was fortunate enough to participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience! What a memory that wasJ Family has always been important to me and I think that’s why I am so drawn to NASCAR – it’s real and it’s like your extended family all in one place at one time for the ride of a lifetime. I think I need to gather up some family and make plans to get to Eldora this summer – want to come along?
Cindy’s Message to Tony Fans. Do what you can as any amount, even $10 a month, will make a difference in someone’s life! It will be your living legacy and a way to give back and be a part of something bigger. It’s a great feeling knowing that YOU can make a difference in this life. And then, don’t stop there, challenge your friends and family to show their support too! Make it fun, make an annual family and friends Lap Leader pilgrimage to a track close to where you live – see it, live it – you won’t regret it.
Cindy’s Shout-Out. Well, I am always up for a shout out! I will be challenging all my family and friends to join with me in creating their living legacy through Tony’s Foundation – whether you own a #14 hat or tee or not, you CAN make a difference today!