Painting For Charity

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - - On October 14, Jeff Gordon will participate at a fund raiser called "Paint a Healthy Picture for Children" in Daytona Beach, Florida. The event is being held to raise money for "Speediatrics," the new name of the Pediatric floor of the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. That night, the reigning Winston Cup champion, along with other NASCAR drivers, will roll up their sleeves and paint for charity.

Betty Jane France, assistant secretary and community relations director for NASCAR, came up with the "Speediatrics" theme for the floor at the hospital in order to make children feel more comfortable in a sometimes intimidating medical environment. "If we can even temporarily take a child's mind off of their reason for their visit to the hospital, we have accomplished our goal," France said. "We plan to theme everything possible on the floor to racing -- wheelchairs, beds, wall hangings, wall paper, floor tile and even nurses' uniforms. We hope that when a child arrives here, they won't see a hospital, they will see pit road or Victory Lane at Daytona." The project is expected to be complete in January 1999.

The October 14 event at the Speedway's Daytona Club has a goal of raising $250,000. Along with Gordon, drivers Dale Earnhardt and Mark Martin are among those who have already pledged their support by appearing. The drivers will be paired with a child to create a racing-themed image that will be signed by both artists and then auctioned off to the highest bidder.

In addition to the artwork, other motorsports items will be auctioned that evening with all proceeds going to develop Speediatrics. Tickets to the event, which is being held in the luxurious Daytona Club, are available by calling (904) 947-6411. Tables of 10 are being sold in advance for $1,000 and individual seats are being sold in advance for $125.

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