Hope On Wheels to Host 41 Events in 38 Cities Nationwide Including Launch of 5K Run/Walk Series; Hyundai to Visit Capitol Hill as Part of 3rd Annual Childhood Cancer Summit
COSTA MESA, Calif. – August 31, 2012 – In connection with September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Hope On Wheels will be donating more than $10 million to fund pediatric cancer research at Children’s Oncology Group (COG) institutions across the United States. Since its inception in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has committed more than $57 million to childhood cancer research and programs for kids and families battling the disease. This year marks its largest year yet, with 41 hospital events scheduled, three 5K run/walks, and a series of events in Washington, D.C. surrounding the Childhood Cancer Caucus. In a bid to strengthen chances in the fight for a cure, Hope On Wheels raised the September Hope Grant award amount this year from $100,000 to $250,000.
Kicking off National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Hope On Wheels 5K Run/Walk Series’ first race will be held on Saturday, September 1 at the University of California, Irvine campus. All proceeds from the Irvine event will benefit CHOC Children’s Hospital in Hyundai’s continued effort to support research from its major investment in the Hyundai Cancer Institute, which seeks a cure in young cancer patients through genomic medicine research. The 5K Series will then move to Chicago on September 9 in conjunction with the Chicago Half Marathon and Miami on September 29.
Hope On Wheels will also donate more than $10.25 million to children’s hospitals nationwide for pediatric cancer research through its signature Hyundai Hope Grant program. Hyundai Hope Grants, in the amount of $250,000 each, will be awarded to 41 principal investigators whose research proposals were chosen after an extensive review by Hope On Wheels’ Medical Advisory Committee. Currently in the U.S., there are over 300 research projects in process funded by Hope On Wheels grants.
Each of the Hyundai Hope Grants will be presented to winning institutions at a signature Handprint Ceremony, where children diagnosed with cancer will place their handprints in colorful paint on a new white Hyundai Tucson, the official vehicle of the program, to commemorate their battles with cancer. Every Handprint Ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of the children faced with cancer and brings a community of supporters together.
“At Hyundai, our goal is for a child to never again have to hear the words ‘you have cancer’,” said John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Through the support of our dealers, hospital partners, online community and 5K runners and walkers, we believe that this goal is attainable as we join together for a cure. We congratulate and commend each institution for their important and life-changing work, and thank our supporters who help continue our efforts.”
Also in September, Hyundai and its dealers will come together with U.S. Representative Michael McCaul for the 3rd Annual Childhood Cancer Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit will examine current childhood cancer legislation, the developments that have come to fruition, and explore future advancements that will benefit the children battling this disease. In attendance at this year’s events will be cancer survivor and current National Youth Ambassador, CJ George, who will be sharing his story and Hope On Wheels’ message of hope. Brianna Commerford, the former Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador, will also be speaking this year on behalf of the Childhood Cancer Caucus.
“Those of us affected by cancer and our families have no choice but to fight to survive, but Hyundai made the choice to fight with us and we are very thankful for their support,” said CJ George, Hyundai Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador. “I am honored to represent Hope On Wheels. With their support, doctors can help more kids like me enjoy our childhoods without cancer.”
Hope On Wheels funds nonprofit children’s hospitals across the U.S. in support of pediatric cancer research and seeks to build public awareness about the importance of this cause. The program is funded by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers. With every new Hyundai vehicle sold in the U.S., customers join Hyundai and its dealers in funding important life-saving research.
“In the 14 years we’ve been a part of this fight to help children fight cancer, we’ve seen significant advancements in treatments but continue to lose too many of our children to this terrible disease,” said Gary Micallef, Hyundai dealer-owner of Hyundai of Everett in Everett, WA and Chairman of the Hyundai Hope On Wheels Board of Directors. “We hope our efforts in September can bring greater awareness for this cause and increase the amount of funds we can provide researchers who are working tirelessly every day to help raise the cure rate.”
For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please visit www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org or visit www.HyundaiRun4Hope.org to register for a race, make a fundraising pledge and join Hyundai’s “Team Hope” for the 5K Run/Walk Series. To support Hyundai Hope On Wheels on Facebook or Twitter, please visit https://www.facebook.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels or https://twitter.com/hopeonwheels.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide.
HYUNDAI HOPE ON WHEELS
Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is the united effort of Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 dealers across the U.S. to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to celebrate the lives of children battling the disease. For 2012, Hyundai Hope On Wheels plans to surpass $57 million in total donations to childhood cancer research since the program began in 1998. Hyundai Hope On Wheels is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.