Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s extensive philanthropic efforts yielded big results this year.
The Dale Jr. Foundation, also known as "TDJF," announced Thursday morning a fundraising total of $833,045 to benefit more than 75 charities in 2015. Standing as the second-highest effort since TDJF was launched in 2007, the funds raised will be distributed to charities on local, regional and national levels, including Blessings in a Backpack, Camp LUCK, Children's Hope Alliance, Health Reach Community Clinic, Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina, Mooresville Christian Mission and Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"I'm proud of the efforts by our Foundation each year," Earnhardt Jr. said in a news release distributed by JR Motorsports. "We did a few new things this year, like the Driven to Give Gloves program and partnering with Nationwide to give away a uniform. Along with our annual Corvette raffle, ride-alongs, Weekend with the 88s Sweepstakes, and charity auction and dinner, this was another remarkable year. I look forward to seeing what our staff is able to come up with to keep advancing the Foundation into next year."
TDJF's mission is to give underprivileged youth the resources to improve their confidence and education, and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. This year, the funds were raised through several endeavors, but primarily via the "Driven To Give" event, "Win Dale Jr.'s Ride" raffle and the "Dale Jr. Ride-Along Experience."
The fifth annual "Driven To Give" fundraiser, which included dinner, a silent auction, live auction and entertainment by comedian Jim Breuer, raised $294,600 and produced a fund increase of more than $40,000 (17 percent) over 2014.
Also in its fifth year, the popular "Win Dale Jr.'s Ride" raffle sold all 8,888 tickets and raised $220,000.
The "Dale Jr. Ride-Along Experience" brought in an additional $84,400 as 11 recipients visited Charlotte Motor Speedway for a three-lap cruise in a Richard Petty Driving Experience race car with Earnhardt Jr. in the driver seat. The recipients were also treated to an exclusive Q&A session, autographs and photo session with Earnhardt Jr., and siblings Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Kerry Earnhardt.
"The holiday season is a time to give thanks and I couldn't be more grateful for everything we've accomplished with The Dale Jr. Foundation over the last nine years," said Earnhardt Miller, who is general manager of JR Motorsports and vice president of The Dale Jr. Foundation. "None of what we do would be possible without the dedication of our fans, valued partners and volunteers throughout the year. It is because of them that we are able to continue to support so many worthy causes."