Four Finalists For Inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Announced



Four Finalists For Inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Announced

A 17-year old who has helped more than 3,000 area youth become involved in various service opportunities ... a New Jersey women who delivers hope for underprivileged children by providing them with books ... an avid NASCAR fan that provides emotional healing for at-risk youth and families through animal-assisted activities ... and an 83-year old Talladega, Ala.-native known across the region as "The Ice Cream Man" because of the many treats he delivers to deaf, blind and multi-disabled students.

And we thought the competition on the track was fierce in 2011.

The four individuals described above - Jake Bernstein, Patty Aber, Brenda Doner and Robert Weaver, respectively - have been announced as the four finalists for the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which recognizes outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of selfless NASCAR fans.  Full Story


Patty Aber

Middletown, NJ resident Patty Aber has devoted the last 30 years of her life to serving others, with more than 1,700 total volunteer hours served. Most recently, Patty has focused her time and efforts on the Bridge of Books Foundation, an organization that shares the world and all its possibilities with at-risk children through books. In addition to volunteering, Patty counts NASCAR as one of her passions. Patty attends five to ten races per year, where she volunteers her time at the track while cheering on her favorite driver, Kasey Kahne. Watch a video about Patty


Jake Bernstein

Referred to as "The NASCAR boy" by his elementary school librarian, 17-year-old Jake Bernstein spends his time outside the classroom volunteering with Autism Speaks. Completing an astounding 100 volunteer hours per month, Jake is involved in everything from tutoring and coaching to organizing and directing free summer clinics for youth with autism. To encourage his peers to get involved within the St. Louis community, Jake and his sister launched a website to help recruit youth to volunteer on projects throughout the area. The website now receives more than 1,000 visitors per day! Watch a video about Jake

Brenda Doner

In addition to contributing her time to NASCAR charities such as The Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, Columbus, OH native Brenda Doner continues to work tirelessly for PBJ Connections, and has developed creative and innovative ways to assist children. The non-profit organization provides emotional healing for at-risk youths and their families by pairing the kids and their families with a therapist and horses. The innovative approach helps to improve self-esteem, communicate more effectively and foster healthy relationships with family and peers. Watch a video about Brenda

Robert Weaver

Robert Weaver has been volunteering with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind for more than 50 years! In addition to his monthly charitable endeavors, 83-year-old Robert dedicates 30 hours a week to helping children in the organization. His many contributions range from creating intramural basketball teams and bowling programs to teaching students how to ride tricycles. Also a passionate NASCAR fan, Robert was once able to pair his hobby and his volunteer work by asking his favorite driver, Darrell Waltrip, to host the AIDB's annual fundraiser in 1986. Watch a video about Robert

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