NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently brightened the day of an ill 15-year-old Maine boy through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and highlights of the boy’s day with Earnhardt will air Monday, July 19, on the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter as part of the SportsCenter “My Wish” series.
Jeffrey Buzzell of Hermon, Maine, who has Alport syndrome, wished to meet Earnhardt and learn about the inner workings of a NASCAR team. The wish was granted May 20-22 around the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Buzzell and his family were given a tour of JR Motorsports, a 66,000-square-foot facility that serves as the nucleus of Earnhardt’s racing operation and business interests. Afterwards, they went to Earnhardt’s home and raced on his private go-kart track. Before the All-Star race, Buzzell took a tour of the garage and pit area, took part in driver introductions and then watched Earnhardt and the other NASCAR drivers battle it out from a private suite at the speedway.
Buzzell on his wish with Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “A few seconds after getting out of the limo, I saw Dale come out of his garage and walk towards me. I didn’t know what to do or think. All I remember was putting one hand on my chest and shaking his with the other. I had the time of my life and I will never forget my amazing trip or the amazing people I met.”
The 2010 edition of the critically acclaimed SportsCenter “My Wish” series in collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation will debut Sunday, July 18, during the 10 a.m. SportsCenter. The series will continue Monday through Thursday with a new wish each day during the 6 p.m. edition. In addition to Earnhardt, Wishes include the three-time Super Bowl champion Oakland Raiders (Sunday, July 18), three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals (Tuesday, July 20), supercross and motocross athlete Travis Pastrana(Wednesday, July 21), and New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson (Thursday, July 22). Emmy Award-winning reporter Chris Connelly will host for the fifth straight year as ESPN chronicles sports-themed wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
ESPN starts its coverage of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25.
About the Make-A-Wish Foundation
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes and has granted more than 193,000 wishes in the United States since its inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.
Team ESPN encompasses ESPN’s multifaceted corporate outreach initiatives, including volunteerism, corporate giving and cause marketing, while utilizing its diverse media assets. Through Team ESPN, ESPN employees and fans work together to make a difference in our world and the communities in which we live. Team ESPN’s slogan is “Fans Helping Fans.”® www.teamespn.com.