KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tomorrow, May 27, 2011, three members of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley and one member from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley will have the opportunity to spend some time with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

This experience is made possible by Dean Winegardner of American Book Company, who purchases the opportunity each year at an auction.

Winegardner is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley Corporate Board and personally flies the club members to Charlotte, North Carolina in his private plane. The group will tour the Hendrick Motorsports complex, eat lunch and talk to Jeff Gordon in a private setting for about an hour and a half.

“This is something I really enjoy doing, and Jeff Gordon enjoys it as much as the children. I hope this is an experience these children will cherish for a long time,” said Winegardner.

This is a once in a lifetime experience for Riley Gibbs, member of the Halls/Powell Boys & Girls Club, Madeline Flinn, member of the Laura Cansler Club, Trenton Johnson of the Lake City Club and Izak Griggs, member of the Dumplin Valley Club.  They were selected as the winners from among 20 club members who entered an essay contest with the theme “Why NASCAR is important to me.”

“For these children to be flown to Charlotte on a private plane and have lunch with Jeff Gordon is a very special experience. We are so appreciative of Dean Winegardner for making this experience possible,” said John D. Lee, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.

UPDATE (5-27-11): 4-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon sent out this picture of his lunch with the children via his Twitter account (@jeffgordonweb):

4-time NASCAR champion driver Jeff Gordon enjoying lunch with members of the Tennessee Valley Boys and Girls Clubs.

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About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley
Boys & Girls Clubs currently serves 5,825 members, ages 5 to 17 years old throughout the Tennessee Valley region. The organization also provides 414,970 USDA hot meals and snacks annually for members free of charge. The Clubs see as many as 1,200 youth walk through the doors on any given day. There are 15 Club locations in Knox, Blount, Loudon and Northern Anderson Counties. The organization employs more than 260 trained, professional, caring staff and welcomes more than 1,200 volunteers annually. It is a charter member of United Way.

*The best media opportunity is upon the group’s return, between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow, at McGhee Tyson at Tac Air.  Call Jacqui Wolfenbarger at (865) 966-7454 or (865) 919-5640 to confirm the return time or learn more about the visit.

Media Contact:
Shane Rhyne
[email protected]
(865) 584-0550