NEW YORK This Sunday, Carl Edwards will be racing the Pep Boys Auto 400 in Atlanta in an Aflac-sponsored Ford Fusion that sports a colorful new look designed by a 13-year-old girl fighting cancer.
Jody Lawrence, who is battling neuroblastoma, was one of 55 children who participated in a design contest at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The Nascar race, broadcast on ESPN, kicks off the insurance company's monthlong fundraising campaign benefiting pediatric cancer. The campaign includes a Facebook initiative and a text-to-donate program in which supporters can text "GoCarl" to 90999 to donate $5 per text. Aflac plans to match contributions up to $1 million.
Danny Fleishmann, vp of sponsorships at Aflac, said the design contest and fundraising effort aligns with the insurer's mission and its "We've got you under our wing" message. "Nascar and its passionate fan base is quite a platform to be able to convey this message in a truly integrated and innovative way," he said.
Lawrence's design is multi-colored and has a crayon-sketched look. Edwards will wear a matching suit and a helmet signed by patients of the Aflac Cancer Center. The racecar driver also appeared on QVC to help sell more than 1,800 autographed die casts of the car, with 5 percent of the proceeds going to the Aflac Cancer Center.
The rest of the children's car designs will be featured throughout the concourse of the Atlanta Motor Speedway and will adorn the pit wall banner for the No. 99 race team. "Their imaginations are beyond so many of us. This is a great way to celebrate their work," said Fleishmann.
The car will be officially unveiled to the public at an event at the Aflac Cancer Center on Sept. 4.