BATH NATIVE RON EBY is the state’s only finalist in the second annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award contest, created by the NASCAR Foundation to honor NASCAR fans who have made a positive impact on children in their communities. Eby secured a $25,000 donation to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

BATH NATIVE RON EBY is the state’s only finalist in the second annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award contest, created by the NASCAR Foundation to honor NASCAR fans who have made a positive impact on children in their communities. Eby secured a $25,000 donation to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

AUGUSTA

Bath native Ron Eby is the state’s only finalist in the second annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award contest.

The award was created by the NASCAR Foundation to honor passionate NASCAR fans who have made a profound impact on children in their communities. Eby, one of four finalists, was the only one selected from the Northeast region.

Gov. Paul LePage announced Oct. 12 as Ron Eby Day.

By making it to the finals, Eby has secured a $25,000 donation from the NASCAR Foundation to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

If Eby is selected as the recipient of this year’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, NASCAR will increase its donation to Camp Sunshine to $100,000.

LePage met with Eby and Matthew Hoidal, the executive director of Camp Sunshine, to discuss the contest, Eby’s efforts to promote Camp Sunshine, and the work Camp Sunshine does to assist children with terminal illnesses and their families.

Eby, owner of Windham Automotive, is proud of his distinction.

“In a time that so many bad things make the news, ,this is a feel good story that shows any thing can be accomplished if you put your heart and soul in it,” he said.

Eby loves to talk about his home city.

“I am from Bath and very proud of that,” he said. “I live in Windham but still have family in Bath. I often travel to Bath to walk and reflect on the past, I believe this reflects my roots.”

The governor’sproclamation is intended to promote Camp Sunshine and encourage Mainers to support their cause by voting for Eby in the online contest.

“Everything we do should be for our future children and grandchildren,” he said. “Nobody understands that better than Ron Eby and Camp Sunshine. Ron is the kind of person we are proud to call a Mainer, and I encourage everyone to get online and show their support for him and Camp Sunshine. People may vote once every 24 hours, so let’s vote as often as we can.”

“Camp Sunshine plays a crucial role in helping families through the trials of coping with a life-threatening illness. This is a great opportunity for Mainers to come together to support a wonderful cause. Let’s all show Ron our support,” said First Lady Ann LePage.

Camp Sunshine, located on Sebago Lake, is the only retreat in America whose mission it is to address the impact of life-threatening illnesses on every member of the immediate family: the ill child, the parents and the siblings. It is free of charge and staffed almost entirely by volunteers.

Eby has worked to recruit business partnerships with Camp Sunshine and fundraised for them by selling Mexican cuisine at “Ron’s Mexican Cantina.”

All proceeds from the sale of his food go to Camp Sunshine. In all, Eby has helped raise more than $250,000 for Camp Sunshine.

The NASCAR Foundation will choose the winner through an online contest. People may vote online for their favorite finalist once every 24 hours.

The entrant with the most votes by midnight Nov. 29 will be declared the winner.


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