NHRA 32nd Greatest | Inducted, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame | Tribute Video
Darrell Gwynn Foundation | Video: About the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
Worlds Largest Spinal Cord Injury Research Center
located at the University of Miami School of Medicine
Over the course of his 10-year career, from May 1980 to April 1990, only two racers won more NHRA national events than Darrell Gwynn: Bob Glidden and Kenny Bernstein. Gwynn was at the height of his career, just a month removed from his last win, when he crashed at England's Santa Pod Raceway on April 15, 1990, changing his life forever. He'd never touched a guardrail until his Top Fuel dragster chassis, apparently weakened on its trip across the Atlantic Ocean, snapped behind the roll cage, and the rear of the car drove his half of it into the guardrail. Gwynn was paralyzed for life and lost part of his left arm. At 28, he was already a 28-time national event champion.
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation is dedicated to preventing, providing for, and ultimately curing spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. To expedite specific cures, the Foundation assists in the funding of targeted research. The Foundation also donates a significant number of custom electric wheel chairs to those who need them but cant afford them. In 2008, thirty-seven(37) customized power wheelchairs, worth almost $250,000, were donated at racing, fishing, car auction and other events, as well as when needs arose. Since the Foundation began in 2002, over one-hundred(100) customized power wheelchairs have been donated. The Foundation's goal for 2009 is to donated sixty(60) wheelchairs.
Miami born, and still lives in southeast Florida, Darrell is an outstanding individual and was a NHRA superstar before his tragic accident. I watched him race at both the Spring Nationals, Houston and Fall Nationals, Dallas. Amazing individual
. and he still is. What I like about the Foundation is that Darrell helps families with children who have very serious neuromuscular birth defects. Many husbands, wives, and single parents must work two or three jobs just to pay(attempt to pay) their child's staggering medical bills during the early and growth years. Many physicians will not render services to their children because they are medically time consuming and insurance payment(if even available) is usually problematic.
On Sunday, March 15th, Darrell will attend the NHRA Gatornationals Finals.
He will also attend the 7th Annual Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction
, Palm Beach, FL, April 9-11, 2009. I have not received information yet on which day Darrell will be at the auction or what Chevy Racing/NASCAR donated car(s) will be auctioned in behalf of his Foundation. He usually attends the event's final day. I understand Darrell will donate custom wheelchairs at both events. I/we are attending all three days at the Gatornationals, which will be my 10th consecutive year, and the final day of the auction on Saturday, April 11. In reviewing the listed details of cars to be auctioned on the final day, there are a number of race cars/pace cars to be sold including NASCAR driven/winning cars by Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Gordon's "Butthead" car should bring top dollar in its category. - fla
Darrell Gwynn Foundation - Official Charity of Barrett Jackson
01.21.09: BARRETT-JACKSON'S SCOTTSDALE AUCTION RAISES $4.4 MILLION FOR CHARITIES
- - NASCAR and other entertainment stars raise record donations for Darrell Gwynn Foundation
(Compiled and edited from four sources fla)
BJ Press Release: The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company recently announced that it helped raise $4.4 million for local and national charities during the 38th annual Scottsdale auction Jan. 11-18, 2009. Funds at the automotive lifestyle event were gathered through the sale of 15 collector vehicles, crowd donations and fundraisers like the Childhelp Drive The Dream Gala. Barrett-Jackson does not collect commissions on vehicles sold entirely for charity. "Charity fundraising has always been a cornerstone of our Scottsdale event," said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of Barrett-Jackson. "We helped raise nearly $7 million at our three events in 2008, and started 2009 off with an amazing $4.4 million. One of the highlights of the auction was the sale of the 1970 Plymouth Superbird custom tribute to benefit The Darrell Gwynn Foundation. The crowd roared when NASCAR super-legend Richard Petty drove the car on-stage, climbed from the driver's seat, and joined the auctioneers at the podium.
After intense bidding and generous crowd donations, the Superbird sold for $501,100. Former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg was part of a group, that included the Gillette Evernham NASCAR racing team, that created the Superbird. "The Barrett-Jackson experience is all about the people, it's all about the relationships, it's all about making a difference," Bill Goldberg told the Barrett-Jackson audience as he participated in the auction.
In conjunction with the auction, Darrell Gwynn presented custom power wheelchairs to two children with debilitating disease. The more we get for these auction cars, the more wheelchairs well be able to donate and help those in desperate need, Gwynn said. Donating a wheelchair before a large crowd gives bidders a true sense of what our work is all about. The sale of the Superbird and Tony Stewarts car will contribute to the more than 60 custom wheelchairs worth approximately $500,000 that Gwynn plans to donate this year. # SNIP #
Top Vehicles Sold Over $100,000 For Charity included:1970 Plymouth Superbird custom tribute, $501,100 (The Darrell Gwynn Foundation) (1)
2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR "Jeff Gordon's", $500,000 (Hendrick Marrow Program)
2009 Ford Mustang FR500CJ Cobra Jet prototype, $375,000 (JDRF) (John Force auction promoted - fla)
2010 Chevrolet Camaro "First Retail Production", $350,000 (American Heart Association)
1967 Plymouth Barracuda custom, $200,000 (EAA Young Eagles)2007 Chevy Monte Carlo NASCAR "Tony Stewart's", $165,000 (The Darrell Gwynn Foundation)
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor "First Retail Production", $130,000 (JDRF)
2008 Chevy Tahoe custom with autographed MLB hood, $100,000 (MLB Charities)
2008 Ford Mustang GT ROUSH P-51A, $100,000 (Speedway Children's Charities)
(1) Full Video of Superbird Auction.
On the auction stage is Richard Petty, Bill Goldberg, Darrell Gwynn, Craig Jackson and Steve Davis. Part 1
| Part 2
, 14 minutes
01.22.09: FORMER PRO WRESTLER BILL GOLDBERG RAISES $681,000 FOR DARRELL GWYNN FOUNDATION
Former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg has a big heart and a lot of friends with influence, two attributes he combined Saturday night, Jan. 17, at Scottsdales Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction to raise an astounding $681,000 for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. Goldbergs record-setting contribution will go toward spinal injury research and allow the severely disabled International Drag Racing Hall of Fame member to make custom wheelchair donations to more than 60 children and young adults in need of assistance.
Goldberg capitalized on the gift of a 1970 Plymouth Satellite by Ohio resident Rick Brannon to converge the talents of YearOne and Gillette Evernham Motorsports in the creation of a custom tribute replica of Richard Pettys Championship Superbird. Adding in King Richard himself driving the Petty Blue Bird onto the auction platform, packing signed guitars from Alice Cooper and Kenny Wayne Shepherd for the lucky purchaser, in addition to a session at the Richard Petty Ride Experience which will be put to good use as the lead car in season 3 of Goldbergs Bullrun show on the Speed Channel bidding rapidly rose to $501,000. Companion bequeathments of $180,000 closed the remarkable session and started the beginning of making a big difference in the lives of a lot of very appreciative people. NOTE: The last photo is of "King Richard's" 1970 NASCAR Plymouth Superbird which resides at the Richard Petty Museum, Randleman, North Carolina. - fla
01.21.09: NASCAR's TONY STEWART RAISES $181,500 FOR DARRELL GWYNN FOUNDATION
At the Scottsdales Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, coming in at $181,500, which included $16,500 in companion bequeathments, was the 2007 Home Depot Monte Carlo that Tony Stewart won three races in including the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway on Oct 1, 2006, the Bass Pro Shop 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29, 2006, and the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, 2006. All proceeds were donated to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. The foundation, named for the famed NHRA drag racer, is dedicated to helping people with spinal chord injuries. At the auction, Gwynn himself confined to a wheelchair after spinal injuries, introduced 14-year-old Randy Rimone, who the foundation helped after he was denied insurance coverage for a power wheelchair.
NOTE: Joe Gibbs, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon are honorary Board of Directors of Darrells Foundation. At the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, Joe Gibbs Racing donated one of Tony's #20 Home Depot NASCARs to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation for auction. By the time the gavel was hammered the car sold for $380,000. It was the No. 1 selling race car at the auction. With ancillary donations, the final amount raised was over $500,000. Noted collector Ron Pratt purchased Stewarts car and then donated it back to the Foundation to auction off again at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. - fla
NASCAR Anglers raise more than $100,000 for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
On Friday February 13, 2009, during NASCAR's Daytona Week, more than thirty NASCAR drivers, celebrities and fans attended the 3rd Annual Darrell Gwynn Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament on Daytona Speedway's 29-acre infield Lake Lloyd. The annual event raised more than $100,000 for the Davie, Florida based Darrell Gwynn Foundation that funds paralysis research, spinal cord injury education and awareness, and customized wheelchairs for children and young adults. NASCAR driver Carl Edwards won the individual fishing tournament with a 4.2 pound bass. Edwards' group also won the team competition by catching a total of 8.5 pounds of fish. Among the other participants were Tony Stewart, Martin Truex, Ryan Newman, Darrell Waltrip and Ken Schrader. Gwynn, former drag racing champion paralyzed in a racing accident, donated a portion of the tournament's proceeds to the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center "Speediatrics" unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The special unit, which is brightly decked out in a racing theme, helps children and families feel more comfortable amid beeping medical equipment and the constant parade of doctors and nurses. FlA Says:
My main man Darrell Waltrip does a great job of promoting and participating in this event. Other NASCAR super-legends like Richard Childress also heavily support the annual fundraiser. Over the years, Darrell Gwynn and his Foundation have been smart to work with NASCAR team owners and drivers for donations. The simple fact is the top NHRA drivers earn peanuts compared to the top NASCAR drivers. NASCAR team owners and drivers have the big money to significantly help Darrell's foundation, along with other worthy humanitarian organizations. ~ Video: Riki Rachtman covers Feb 2008
Darrell Gwynn Foundation Charity Daytona Fishing Tournament. Interviews Darrell Gwynn and NASCAR drivers at event. When Riki is on the scene there is always funny moments.
Photos: 1. Darrell Gwynn, Team Carl Edwards | 2. Carl Edwards with his winning catch |
3. Darrell and Ryan Newman | 4-5. Darrell "The Man" Waltrip and his Lake Lloyd "youngsters".
Disabled 5-year-old NASCAR fan gets her own wheels thanks to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
Daytona Beach News Journal by Deborah Circelli
Feb. 16, 2009
Daytona Beach -- Two-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart knelt down, smiling as he tried to charm Alyssa Hagstrom while photographers snapped away. The bubbly pre-kindergartner, who turned 5 on Saturday seemed to care less that she was the center of attention being introduced to drivers such as Stewart, Carl Edwards and last year's Daytona 500 winner, Ryan Newman. She was comfy in her new set of wheels. The minute the cameras stopped flashing, Alyssa, who was born with a rare muscle disorder that prevents her from walking and having full movement of her arms, pressed her head against the wheelchair headrest, which powers the chair, and pronounced -- "I'm out of here," as she wheeled back down the dock Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
"Excuse me guys. Excuse me," she said to fans and drivers, who had just finished a charity fishing tournament to benefit people with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. Just an hour earlier, she started driving in her $26,000 power chair donated by the Davie-based Darrell Gwynn Foundation, started by Gwynn, a National Hot Rod Association champion. He lost his left arm and was paralyzed from the waist down in 1990 when his dragster hit a wall during a London exhibition.
Before the festivities with the drivers began, the Daytona Beach girl moved around the dock making new friends. "I know I'm a crazy driver," Alyssa said to a man on the dock. At one point, she went right up to Gwynn and Ricky James, 20, of California, who was injured in a 2005 motocross racing accident. "Hi! Hi!," she yelled to the two. "Daddy, all three of us are in wheelchairs." Before they could ask her a question, she zoomed away. "She sure is cute," Gwynn laughed. "Kids do amazing things the way they take to a machine like that." Alyssa, who attends Easter Seals Pre-Kindergarten Charter School in Daytona Beach and is an ambassador for Easter Seals "Walk With Me" fundraisers in April and May, also made an impression on the drivers. Stewart said it's exciting to see the children "get a new set of wheels." "She has no clue who any of us are, but 10 years down the road she'll be looking at pictures and it will be special to her," Stewart said.
Edwards, who was on the winning team for the fishing tournament on the Speedway's Lake Lloyd, said he first met Alyssa right before the fishing began, and just after she got her new chair. "She's like, 'Nice to meet you. Excuse me. I got to go,' " he laughed. "What (Gwynn) does for people is really special. It's an honor to be a part of it." Gwynn's foundation, which raised more than $100,000 at the local tournament, donated 37 wheelchairs last year and has donated about 100 since the foundation started in 2002. Money raised also helps Halifax Health Medical Center's "Speediatrics" unit for children. "I can't win races anymore because of my injury, but (this) is just like winning a race," said Gwynn, 47. "It's like a victory when you get to change somebody's life." His goal is to give young people more independence after losing his own. "It's a club we didn't sign up for. We have to try to make the best of things," Gwynn said.
Alyssa's father, Duane Hagstrom, 35, a Flagler Palm Coast High School teacher, said his daughter doesn't let her disability stand in her way. She was born with arthrogryposis, a muscular atrophy in her extremities. Before getting the powered Chair, she was pushed in a stroller, a manual wheelchair or she simply rolled on the floor. At home, she gets help from her 7-year-old sister, her father's girlfriend, Milisa Carter, and Carter's two children. Hagstrom, who is divorced from Alyssa's mother and has cared for her since she was young, said his insurance denied the specialized chair. "She's so independent now," he said regarding her new wheels. "She's a normal 5-year-old other than the fact that she can't walk. At school last week, she played with fellow students on the floor before making paper hearts with her teacher for Valentine's Day. She said she "wants to be a girl that cooks" when she grows up and that she loves "playing outside with my friends and pretend like we're catching butterflies." "She is totally charming," her teacher Kathleen Carroll said. "She knows she can't walk, but that doesn't damper her spirit." Alyssa said her fellow students help her if a toy is too high on a shelf or getting around on the playground. Now with her new chair, she said, "I can chase everybody around outside."
Darrell, NASCAR President Mike Helton, and DGF wheelchair recipient