Martin Truex Jr. Celebrates Foundation’s 10th Anniversary on His Home Turf

By DAVID BIGGY | Oct 04, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

During the middle of his second season on the NASCAR circuit, Martin Truex Jr. and girlfriend Sherry Pollex started a foundation to help children overcome various obstacles in life, from depression to anxiety. Over the years, that mission subtly transformed into what it is today, as the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation now takes aim at childhood and ovarian cancers.

“When first started, we just wanted to help people and use our platform in whatever we could to do that,” Truex said after his foundation’s 10th Anniversary Celebration at Sea Oaks Country Club on Sept. 27. “But as we went down that road, we moved toward children’s cancer. And then, we never knew cancer would affect our lives in such a big way, given what Sherry’s gone through in her fight with ovarian cancer. But I guess God has a plan and he was preparing us for things.”

For sure, the Mayetta native and Southern Regional High School graduate has become one of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series’ top drivers and this season has had his most success to date as he sets his sights on the series championship after winning the regular-season points title. But while driving a race car is something he’s done since childhood, helping others on such a massive scale is something he’s had to get acclimated to more recently.

The Truex Jr. Foundation is the vehicle he uses to do so, and the success of it, and the support behind it, has steadily increased over the past 10 years.

“It’s been 10 years since we started the foundation, and we’ve done more than we could have imagined, thanks to the support from people like you – sponsors, family, friends, some new and some old,” Truex said while addressing the audience during the big celebration, prior to presenting a $15,000 check to Ocean of Love. “We appreciate your help and support so much. It’s been an amazing ride and it means the world to us.”

Prior to Truex’s comments to the standing-room-only crowd, business manager Todd Moore provided some context regarding the foundation’s success.

“Since 2007, the foundation has raised millions of dollars, donated to multiple projects and causes,” he said. “Tens of thousands of volunteer hours have been contributed by thousands of people, and almost every NASCAR driver in the garage area has supported the foundation at some level. To say the least, we have done a lot during the past decade.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve done some pretty amazing things because of you. But we still have a lot to do. As long as 43 children in this country are diagnosed with cancer every day, we will continue our fight with you against this terrible disease. And we hope to bring a smile or two to these kids’ faces along the way, and hopefully find a cure sometime soon.”

Beyond that, following Pollex’s diagnosis in 2014 the Truex Jr. Foundation added to its mission the goals of helping to raise awareness and generate financial support for ovarian cancer research. Unfortunately, Pollex wasn’t with Truex Jr. for this year’s annual celebration because earlier in the week she underwent a round of chemotherapy.

“Sherry’s doing well. She’s going through some precautionary chemotherapy right now, but she’s feeling good,” he said. “I know she misses being here with everyone, and she wishes she could be here to thank everyone for their love and support. So many people have done so much for us and helped us be successful – and at the end of the day, help us change the lives of kids all over the country. It’s all really special to be a part of this.”

As the celebration winded down and guests streamed past him, Truex Jr. said how much he always enjoys returning home “because the people are real and they don’t see me as somebody different than them.”

“This is home for me, and it’s crazy how fast time goes by and what we’ve been able to accomplish in 10 years, but it’s been a great experience and I couldn’t imagine being any place else than here to celebrate this.

“In a small way, I guess I’m a bit of a hero around here, which is crazy for me to think about because just 15 years ago I was racing go-carts. It’s a crazy story, but that’s why I love coming back here so much. Everybody here knows who I am and what I stand for, and all our families are so interconnected in some way. Around here, I’m just a kid from down the street, which is awesome. But the support has always been here, and it’s just really cool to be back.”

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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