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Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Jeff Hanson Wins NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

By December 8, 2015December 18th, 2023Press Release, Ways to Give



NEW YORK, NY (December 8, 2015) – Visually impaired artist and Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Hero Jeff Hanson is the 2015 winner of The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, presented by Nationwide.

The Award honors one dedicated NASCAR fan who has made a profound impact on children by volunteering in his or her local community. This Award embodies The NASCAR Foundation’s Founder and Chairwoman Emeritus Betty Jane France’s unwavering commitment to philanthropic causes and recognizes those whose generosity and compassion have positively impacted the lives of children in their community.

The 22-year-old philanthropic artist is visually impaired due to an optic nerve tumor related to neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and affects one in every 3,000 people. Though legally blind, the Kansas native has painted and donated more than $1 million dollars in acrylic canvases to over 100 charitable causes since 2006.

Hanson, nominated by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, received the most online votes out of four finalists who competed in a nationwide contest that lasted for nearly two months. An anonymous Children’s Tumor Foundation donor will double The NASCAR Foundation’s donation of $100,000, making the total raised in Hanson’s honor to $200,000.

“Jeff Hanson’s story is inspiring and his accomplishments are impressive,” said France, who presented the award Friday night. “This is a resilient and immensely talented young man we have become proud to know – and even more proud to have as our fifth annual award winner.”

Each of the finalists also received a VIP experience at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, a trip to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas and will receive a 2016 Ford Fusion. Due to his visual impairment, Jeff will not be able to drive his new car, but plans to donate the car to the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Racing4Research program for an upcoming charity event.

“Nationwide would like to congratulate Jeff for winning the 2015 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award,” said Terrance Williams, chief marketing officer for Nationwide. “Jeff’s impact has been an inspiration to us all and we look forward to seeing him continuing his amazing work.”

“I am so unbelievably honored to have received the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award,” said Hanson. “Mrs. France is an amazing role model and I’m proud that my efforts on behalf of the Children’s Tumor Foundation have been recognized with an award named in her honor. Being recognized by such a well-known name as NASCAR is a win for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and for neurofibromatosis (NF), helping to raise awareness of a disorder that affects one in every 3,000 people but that not many people have heard of. The money that we receive from The NASCAR Foundation will be used to launch an exciting new research program aimed at improving the lives of people like me who live with NF and help us get a little closer to finding a cure.”