Atlanta, GA (February 8, 2018) – Following his mother’s sudden death in 2011, NASCAR driver Joey Gase made the courageous decision to donate her organs, eyes and tissues, which ultimately touched the lives of 66 individuals in desperate need of a transplant. Since then, Gase has become as passionate about donation as he is about racing. In December 2015, he was awarded NASCAR’s inaugural COMCAST Community Outreach Award for his work supporting organ, eye and tissue donation and donor families. Go Green Racing is excited that Gase will pilot the No. 35 Sparks Energy entry in the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.
Atlanta Motor Speedway will soon fill its 110,000 permanent seats with motorsport fans. Meanwhile, over 115,000 men, women and children across the country are waiting for the gift of life through transplantation; over 5,300 wait in Georgia. For the upcoming Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Gase will race the LifeLink® and Donate Life Georgia #35 car in honor of his mother and others touched by donation and transplantation, like Ethan Rutledge.
Ethan, a 2014 graduate of Loganville High School and student athlete at Columbus State University, passed away in 2014 after a single car accident. He was a humble man who never met a stranger and he made a positive impact on many throughout his life. Ethan made the decision, before his death, to register as an organ donor, and LifeLink worked with his family to honor his wishes. Ethan’s picture will be placed on the back panel of the #35 car as a tribute to his legacy for those whose lives were forever changed by his decision to donate life, such as Eddie Cannon. After suffering from non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, Eddie waited nearly six months for a heart transplant; a chance that became reality when he received Ethan’s heart. Two families, one heart, one strong bond forever.
On Thursday, February 22, 2018, Gase will visit Loganville City Hall to share his personal experience as a donor family member and honor the life of Ethan, and donor families in general. Recipients, donor families, and registered organ donors will be invited to sign and make handprints on Gases’ #35 car during a special event called “Handprints of Hope.” The personal tributes to organ donors, transplant recipients, those waiting for a transplant and healthcare professionals will ride with Gase on the track during his race as an inspiration for fans about the power of donation.
“This is not only a unique opportunity to welcome NASCAR driver Joey Gase to our great city, but this is also a great way to honor the memory of one of our residents. We are proud to do our part in helping promote organ donation and in doing so, celebrating the life of Ethan Rutledge,” says Kristy Peters, Events and Marketing Director for the City of Loganville.
WHAT: Handprints of Hope: Special appearance by NASCAR driver Joey Gase and LifeLink/Donate Life Georgia #35 car
WHERE: Loganville City Hall: 4303 Lawrenceville Road, Loganville, GA 30052
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
WHY: Meet and greet with NASCAR driver and Donate Life advocate, Joey Gase, Unveil LifeLink and Donate Life Georgia #35 car with Handprints of Hope, Honor organ and tissue donors including Ethan Rutledge
WHO: Interviews available with Joey Gase, NASCAR driver and Community Champion Award winner, Donor families, transplant patients, recipients and Donate Life advocates
About LifeLink of Georgia
LifeLink of Georgia is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissues for transplantation. Learn more by visiting www.LifeLinkFoundation.org. Connect with us socially on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Donate Life Georgia
Donate Life Georgia (DLG) is a statewide alliance formed to educate the public about organ, tissue and eye donation. DLG is one of 50 non-profit local coalitions affiliated with Donate Life America and works to spread a unified message to Americans about the importance of organ, tissue and eye donation.
About Sparks Energy, Inc.: Sparks Energy, Inc. was founded in 2007 to address a growing need by both Investor Owned Utilities and Electric Co-ops for a quality workforce to perform storm response and energy restoration services. The Sparks Energy, Inc. team has over 35 years of experience in utility construction and management. Sparks is a committed leader in Energy Restoration Management. Our crews are qualified for overhead/underground distribution, transmission, substation and ROW operations. We are composed of both union and non-union crews. Our crews remain non-associated with mutual aid giving us the ability to move throughout the U.S. without having to request RMAG releases.