Ceremonies at the New York International Auto Show and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Mark Launch of 2010 Hyundai Hope on Wheels Tour
Hyundai Motor America and its dealers will launch the 2010 Hyundai Hope on Wheels tour today during Hyundai's press conference at the New York International Auto Show. With newly-named Hope on Wheels National Youth Ambassador Brianna Commerford, 12, standing by, Hyundai CEO John Krafcik will announce the 2010 tour, which will visit more than 40 children's hospitals across the country. This year's tour will donate $2.1 million to support childhood cancer research.
Hope on Wheels National Youth Ambassador Brianna battled Stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma when she was just ten years old. Now healthy and in remission, Brianna wants to share her story to spread awareness and help bring hope to other children facing cancer. Brianna will serve a two-year term as the Hope on Wheels National Youth Ambassador.
"At Hyundai, we believe in doing what others might think is impossible," said John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "With the dramatic increase in survival rates that we've seen over the past several decades, we believe that a cure for pediatric cancer is now within reach. Hyundai is focusing the bulk of our philanthropic efforts on funding childhood cancer research through Hope on Wheels so that one day no child will ever have to face cancer."
The first official hospital donation event of the year will take place later today as Hope on Wheels donates $125,000 to the Hope & Heroes program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. This year, Dr. Jennifer Levine and Dr. Julia Glade Bender have been selected to receive the donation, which will support their research. Children receiving treatment at the hospital and their families will join Brianna and New York area Hyundai dealers for a special Handprint Ceremony at the Hyundai booth. The children will place their handprints in colorful paint on the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, the official vehicle of the Hope on Wheels Tour, to commemorate their brave battles with childhood cancer.
"Since 2004, Hyundai has been a dedicated donor to the children's cancer research program at the Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology Center," said Dr. Michael Weiner, director, Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. "We are proud to be a recipient of Hyundai's generosity and ongoing support for children with cancer."
Later this month, U.S. Hyundai dealers will gather at the company's manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama for their annual national dealer meeting. The company and dealers together will present a ceremonial check for this year's $2.1 million donation to Brianna on behalf of all the children helped by childhood cancer research. The second hospital donation of the 2010 tour will be made to the Children's Hospital of Alabama in the amount of $40,000.
"On behalf of Hyundai dealers across the country, Hope on Wheels is honored to continue its support for childhood cancer research in 2010 and recognize the brave children who are battling this disease" said Oscar Leeser, President of the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Foundation and dealer owner of Hyundai of El Paso in El Paso, Texas. We are proud to be able to award research grants to the Hyundai Scholars – they are the pediatric oncologists whose unwavering dedication to research helps to care for children facing cancer and gives them hope for a healthy future."
This year Hyundai Hope on Wheels marks its 12th year of commitment to supporting childhood cancer research efforts. Hyundai and its dealers have donated more than $14 million to children's hospitals nationwide and collected hundreds of handprints from children fighting childhood cancer. Every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold in the U.S., $5 is donated to Hope on Wheels. More information and the complete list of 2010 Hyundai Hope on Wheels tour stops is available at www.hyundaihopeonwheels.org.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 780 dealerships nationwide.
HYUNDAI HOPE ON WHEELS
Hyundai Hope on Wheels™ is the united effort of all 780 Hyundai dealers across the U.S. to raise awareness about childhood cancer and celebrate the lives of children battling the disease. Hyundai Hope on Wheels has donated more than $14 million to childhood cancer research since 1998 and is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.