When the topic of large, corporations that make mega-bucks comes up, not uncommonly, it is associated with corporate greed. However, many large companies return some of their profits in the form of charitable causes. One such company is Hyundai Motor America, whose Hope on Wheels program supplies funds to combat pediatric cancer. On August 28, Hyundai announced that it launched an initiative to thank Hyundai owners for their help in donating more than $72 million to Hope on Wheels. Since 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has awarded more than $72 million for pediatric cancer research in the U.S. Included in the announcement was a statement that an additional donation of $10.25 million was being made as part of Hyundai Hope On Wheels’ annual September program recognizing National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Hyundai notes that this year, a unique social media initiative will be promoted to thank all Hyundai owners whose vehicle purchases contribute to the cause. “Hope On Wheels is our fight to end pediatric cancer and is at the soul of our work at Hyundai. With each car we sell, we make a contribution with our dealers to end this disease,” explained John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. He added, “We’ve now raised over $72 million dollars, and ask everyone to join us this September on Facebook to raise awareness about this cause.”
This year’s initiative will kick-off with a full page announcement in the August 30 weekend edition of USA Today. It will be immediately followed by a 5K run/walk in Fountain Valley, California on August 31st. Throughout the month of September, Hope On Wheels will travel the U.S. donating research grants to children’s hospitals each in the amount of $250,000. Other activities will include seven additional 5K run/walks around the country and Hope On Wheels will take part in a series of events on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus.
Hyundai will promote a unique social media initiative, primarily on Facebook and other social media sites, to create awareness about pediatric cancer during the month. The program is called “Every Handprint Tells A Story.” The iconic handprints of the Hope On Wheels logo represent the dreams, hopes and journeys of kids diagnosed with cancer everyday in the U.S. Visitors to the Hyundai Facebook app will be able to learn about the research funded by Hope On Wheels, view videos of pediatric cancer survivors, share stories on social media and post their own messages of hope. You can visit the page at www.Facebook.com/Hyundai, or go to the website HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org.
“With childhood cancer remaining the leading cause of death from disease for children in the U.S., there is an urgent need for more research that can lead to better cures for our children,” said Peter C. Adamson, Chairman of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). “Hyundai and its dealers are bridging the widening gap in childhood cancer research funding and have quickly become one of the largest and more innovative grant providers in the field. We are grateful for their support and efforts to bring our cause to the forefront of the national dialogue.”
As part of its annual September effort, Hope On Wheels will hold a series of pediatric cancer awareness activities in Washington, D.C. Once again this year, Hyundai and its dealers will come together at a joint press conference with Members of the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus, co-chaired by U.S. Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Hope On Wheels national youth ambassador, CJ George, will address the audience, and leading doctors, policy makers, Members of Congress, and childhood cancer survivors will attend the press conference at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room on September 19th from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. ET. Immediately following the press conference, the Congressional Caucus will host its 4th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit. The summit will examine the current state of pediatric cancer and open discussion for future advancements to benefit children battling cancer.
“Over the past 15 years, Hyundai dealers and the Company have stood resolute to provide funding for pediatric cancer research,” said Mickey Pong, Chairman of Hope On Wheels and Hyundai Dealer of North County Hyundai. “As a Hyundai dealer, there is nothing that I am more proud of than the work we do with Hope On Wheels. We want every person who enters our dealerships across the country to know the impact they are having on these children’s lives. The September effort will not only provide needed research dollars, but also tell the stories of these brave children for whom we fight.”
Hyundai Hope On Wheels will surpass $72 million in grant awards to children’s hospitals nationwide by the end of 2013. The Hyundai Scholar Grant program awarded $3 million earlier this year to young investigators across the country. The September Hope Grant will be awarded to 41 children’s hospitals and research institutions across the country. The highly-competitive Hyundai Hope research grant program is open to the nearly 200 Children’s Oncology Group member institutions engaged in pediatric cancer research in the U.S. Grant winners are selected by the Hope On Wheels Medical Advisory Committee, a distinguished group of leading pediatric oncologists throughout the nation.