Hope on Wheels: Connolly Hyundai is Committed to Fighting Childhood CancerPosted by in Events
2010 marks the twelfth year that Hyundai and its dealers have been committed to supporting the fight against childhood cancer. What began in 1998 as a local initiative supported by New England-area Hyundai dealers to raise funds for the Jimmy Fund at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has evolved into Hyundai Hope on Wheels, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which is supported nationwide by all of Hyundai’s 780 dealers and Hyundai Motor America. Since 1998, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has donated more than $14 million to children’s hospitals nationwide to help kids fight cancer. Every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold in the U.S., $5 is donated to Hope on Wheels.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels is led by an executive board of Hyundai dealers, including Oscar Leeser, chairman, (El Paso, TX), Gary Micaleff (Everett, WA), and Mike Kelly (Butler, PA). The Hope on Wheels Medical Advisory Board is made up of leaders in cancer research treatment, including Dr. Leonard Sender (Children’s Hospital of Orange County), Dr. David Poplack (Texas Children’s Cancer Center) and Dr. Dan Wechsler (Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center), and has provided essential guidance in the establishment of Hyundai Hope on Wheels and the Hyundai Scholars program.
The Hope on Wheels Tour is the united effort of Hyundai dealers across the country to raise awareness about childhood cancer and celebrate the lives of the courageous children battling the disease. This summer, the Hope on Wheels Tour will travel to 42 children’s hospitals across the country and donate more than $2 million to support further training and research for doctors involved in childhood cancer research, making it the largest single year of donations in the organization’s history. Hyundai Hope on Wheels designates the medical professionals supported by these donations as Hyundai Scholars.
The 2010 Tour will also host Handprint Ceremonies for childhood cancer patients, both past and present, at the 42 children’s hospitals receiving donations. The symbol of the Hope on Wheels Tour is a white Hyundai Santa Fe covered with colorful handprints representing childhood cancer patients from all over the country. The Handprint Ceremony celebrates the courage of childhood cancer patients by capturing their colorful handprints on the white Santa Fe; children attending the ceremony are asked to lend a hand and place their own handprints on the car to commemorate their battle with cancer. Why handprints? Because there’s nothing more personal than a handprint – and the goal of the Hope on Wheels Tour is to share the personal triumphs of each of these children with other childhood cancer patients and their families across the country. Whether it’s completing a round of chemo, celebrating a beautiful new head of hair or receiving a clean bill of health, one childhood cancer patient’s milestone can be another’s symbol of hope.