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Hyundai Hope On Wheels Surpasses $145 Million To Research Celebrating Its 20th Year In The Fight To End Childhood Cancer

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March, 2018 – Today, Hyundai Hope On Wheels® (HHOW), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, celebrates its 20th year in the fight against pediatric cancer and announces plans to exceed $145 million toward pediatric cancer research. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, HHOW will host its annual launch event at the New York International Auto Show to recognize the grant award-winning institutions, doctors, and children affected by pediatric cancer. The campaign theme for this year is: 20 years of saving lives and creating hope, in the fight to end childhood cancer. HHOW also introduces two new 2018 National Youth Ambassadors: Elizabeth Blair (11) and Carter Gates (12). The launch event is hosted by awarding winning journalist and multimedia personality Soledad O’Brien, and special musical performances by Broadway’s Betsy Wolfe, Alton Fitzgerald White and the Broadway Youth Ensemble. This annual event takes place in conjunction with the preview night of the New York International Auto Show in the Jacob Javits Center at the Hyundai booth on Thursday, March 29th at 6:30 PM.

Begun in 1998 by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers, HHOW is one of the longest continuously running CSR initiatives in the auto industry and is dedicated to helping kids fight cancer. The program was begun in the Boston, MA area and quickly traveled to support children’s hospital throughout the U.S. with research grants to help find cures and to improve care for children fighting cancer.

“The fight to end childhood cancer remains a top priority for HHOW. Because of research, 80 percent of those kids can be cured. However, even one child who loses his/her battle is far too many,” says Brian Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor America. “For 20 years, Hyundai and its dealers have dedicated their mission to saving lives and creating hope. We want children to know that Hyundai is on their side.”

Funding Research to Find A Cure

In 2018, fifty-three (53) new institutions will receive a combined $15 million in pediatric cancer research grants. HHOW offers pediatric cancer research grants for Children’s Oncology of America member institutions in the U.S. The grant winners are chosen by a peer-reviewed and competitive selection process. There are five HHOW grant categories: Impact Grant ($100,000), Young Investigator Grant ($200,000), Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant ($300,000), Hyundai Quantum Grant ($1 million) and the new Quantum Collaboration Grant ($2.5 million). Applications are graded by a panel of scientific reviewers, for their innovation and potential to increase discovery.

Hope Is Always Worth Fighting For

HHOW is committed to increasing awareness and celebrating the lives of child cancer survivors. Kids who fight cancer are brave, courageous and represent hope. They often go devastating treatments on their road to cure. Many continue with life-long health related issues as a consequence of cure. Our goal is to help kids not only survive, but to ensure these kids thrive in their lives after the disease.

This year, we are pleased to welcome two new National Youth Ambassadors. Elizabeth Blair, 11 years old, is from Phoenix, AZ. Carter Gates is 12 years old, from Colorado Springs, CO. These two incredible pediatric cancer survivors will travel the country for the next two years sharing their message of hope. They not only fought pediatric cancer, but they continue to win in life. Click this video to learn more about Elizabeth and Carter.

Celebrities Give A Hand to Hope

Each year, HHOW names one or more celebrities to join us as a part of our annual New York launch event. This year, we are proud to welcome back for a second year renowned multimedia personality and award winning journalist Ms. Soledad O’Brien, to host the event. Additionally, Broadway superstars Betsy Wolfe and Alton Fitzgerald White will provide special musical performance. The Broadway Youth Ensemble will join the festivities, with a number of Broadway inspired show tunes to entertain the audience.

Communication Plan

HHOW launches with an engaging multimedia communications plan to increase awareness to the cause, includes:

  • Times Square Takeover, pop-up awareness event along Broadway & W 44th Street to engage the public in spreading awareness for pediatric cancer.
  • Announcement of 2 new HHOW National Youth Ambassadors who will travel the country sharing their cancer survivor story.
  • Annual kick-off event celebrating 20th anniversary during the New York International Auto Show
  • National Satellite Media Tour
  • Child cancer-survivor and grant winning institutions videos featured on website and YouTube.
  • A re-designed website, HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org, where visitors can view stories of child cancer-survivors, read about funded research, or post a message of hope for a family.

“A key priority for Hyundai dealers is to give back to society and to make sure children have the best possible future for success. We believe that future should be in a world that is free from pediatric cancer,” says Scott Fink, Board Chair and Hyundai dealer owner, Hyundai of New Port Richey. “We know that progress has been made in finding cures for pediatric cancer. With HHOW grants over the past 20 years, innovative therapies and new treatments have been developed. The Hyundai dealers’ across the nation are proud to support this important cause. But our work is not over, and you can count on the Hyundai dealers to remain committed to this fight for as long as it takes.”

HHOW Grants Tour & Youth Ambassadors

The HHOW Grants Tour is a nationwide effort from April to October to travel the country presenting grant checks ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million to selected children’s hospitals and institution. At each event, we conduct our signature handprint ceremony, at which kids get to put their hands in paint and place it on the HHOW hero vehicle, 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. These color handprints represent the dreams, journey and hopes of kids fighting cancer. They allow kids from across the nation to join hands in with a common purpose to fight this dreaded disease. Each doctor-grant recipient receives HHOW lab coat and is named a Hyundai Scholar.

Our goal is to #Endchildhoodcancer

Approximately 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. This year HHOW travels the nation in a Hyundai Santa Fe – the official hope vehicle, to the children’s hospital grant winners. The vehicle serves as a canvas for hope, covered with handprints collected from children across the country battling this disease. In September, National Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, HHOW will announce a series of events across the nation to bring greater awareness about the issue.  Supporters and followers of HHOW are invited to post photos or messages on social media using hashtag #EndChildhoodCancer.

For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels and to view a list of our 2018 Hope On Wheels grant winners, please visit www.hyundaihopeonwheels.org/research. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at facebook.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels, twitter.com/HopeOnWheels or Instagram.com/HyundaiHopeOnWheels.

About Hyundai Hope On Wheels
Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Launched in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. HHOW is one of the largest non-profit funders of pediatric cancer research in the country, and primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 835 U.S. dealers. Since its inception, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has awarded more than $130 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.

Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America is focused on delivering an outstanding customer experience grounded in design leadership, engineering excellence and exceptional value in every vehicle we sell. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to deliver peace of mind to our customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide and the majority sold in the U.S. are built at U.S. manufacturing facilities, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.

Please visit our media website at www.HyundaiNews.com

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About the author

Joshua Willingham

Joshua, a native Phoenician, lives in the west Valley with his wife and two sons. He has a BA in Management and 24 years of experience in Information Technology. He's passionate in his career of combining healthcare and IT to help doctors provide the best possible healthcare to their patients. Joshua also has multiple publications for IT education, which are used in universities around the world. He is a true Arizona liberal, supporting both human rights, equality for all.

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