NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. will speak at Freed-Hardeman University’s annual benefit dinner Friday night, Dec. 6, 2019. The annual event raises funds for FHU scholarships.
Earnhardt is a third-generation driver in the first-family of NASCAR racing. While his innate ability behind the wheel comes from his Earnhardt DNA, his competitive driving style and business savvy are all his own. His common-sense charisma and flair for originality have made him one of the most popular figures in sports. Race fans have selected him a record 14 consecutive times as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver. His appeal, however, is not limited to race fans, as Earnhardt has appeared on Harris Interactive’s annual survey of America’s Top 10 Favorite Athletes.
Freed-Hardeman constituents were invited to participate in a survey to select the 2019 benefit dinner speaker, according to Dave Clouse, vice president for community engagement. Earnhardt was a top response from those participating. “The amazing popularity of NASCAR and this evidence that a large part of the FHU family is interested in hearing him led to our decision to invite him to speak,” Clouse said. “Of course, with all of the attention currently being given to athletes’ concussion injuries, his unfortunate concussion history made his selection timely.”
After 18 years behind the wheel, Earnhardt retired from full-time racing in 2017 with 26 career victories. He had qualified for the NASCAR play-offs eight times between 2004 and 2015.
In early 2018, Earnhardt joined NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage. His role with NBCUniversal opened a wide range of opportunities in the company’s media businesses.
“Racing to the Finish: My Story” was released in October 2018. The memoir details how his accident in 2016 transformed him and led to his retirement decision. For the first time, he reveals his experience with concussions, hoping to encourage others with similar injuries to seek treatment.
Earnhardt is also active in a variety of charities and non-profit organizations. The Dale Jr. Foundation is dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals the resources needed to improve their confidence and education. Make-a-Wish has recognized Earnhardt as one of the few individuals who have facilitated 200 wishes for children battling terminal or life-threatening illnesses.
FHU’s annual benefit dinner is typically the state’s largest single-night fundraiser. For the past 19 years, it has generated more than $1 million annually to help students attend FHU. Forever Communications is the premier media sponsor for the event. Other sponsorships begin at $600.
To learn more about purchasing tickets or becoming a sponsor, one may go to fhu.edu/dalejr. General admission tickets are currently on sale.
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