The 2013 program kicked off earlier this week in New York City when Hyundai President and CEO John Krafcik rang the NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell on Tuesday, March 26. He was joined at the event by Hope On Wheels' National Youth Ambassador CJ George, local Hyundai dealers, and representatives from Columbia University Medical Center (the winner of the first Hope On Wheels grant for 2013). Celebrity actor Nolan Gould, and star of the hit ABC sitcom Modern Family, participated in the program and visited pediatric oncology patients at the Columbia University Medical Center. The Hope On Wheels program was recognized by the Borough of Manhattan and the New York City Mayor's Office, with proclamations to declare March 28(th) "Hyundai Hope On Wheels Day" in New York City. The program now heads across the U.S. donating research grants in pursuit of a cure for pediatric cancer.
"Hyundai and its dealers remain committed to helping children in the fight against pediatric cancer," said John Krafcik. "We are dedicated to providing crucial research dollars that will lead to finding cures and better treatment protocols for these precious children impacted by cancer. While cure rates approach 80% for some forms of pediatric cancer, far too many children and families are devastated by the disease. We are proud of our 15-year milestone for Hyundai Hope On Wheels, and remain keenly aware that there is much more work to be done."
Hyundai Hope On Wheels began as a local initiative in 1998 by Hyundai and a group New England-area Hyundai dealers. It has since grown into a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The program primarily funds pediatric cancer research at Children's Oncology Group member institutions across the U.S. Its other mission is to create public awareness about the importance of this cause.
"The field of medicine has seen progress in understanding the biology of pediatric cancer in recent years. Yet, cure rates remain at a plateau for the 12,000 or more children, who are newly diagnosed each year," said Dr. Andrew L. Kung, Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation at Columbia University Medical Center. "One of the greatest challenges to further advancements is the lack of adequate funding for research. Hyundai Hope On Wheels has been a major source of funding and a trusted resource in the fight to find a cure. Hyundai Hope On Wheels is truly making a difference in the lives of children and families impacted by cancer."
This year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will award 81 grants through its Scholar Grant and Hope Grant programs to Children's Oncology Group member institutions across the U.S. The Scholar Grant is a one-year $75,000 award, given for support promising young research investigators and patient care programs. The Hope Grant is a two-year $250,000 grant, given for innovative research at COG institutions. In addition, Hope On Wheels will present Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children's) $2.0 million, the 3(rd) installment of a 5-year research grant to the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children's.
Hope On Wheels grants are presented throughout the year with a signature Handprint Ceremony at the selected institutions. Every handprint collected symbolizes the courage, memories and hope of all children diagnosed with the disease. These handprints are placed on a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, which travels the country creating awareness for the disease.
"The Hope On Wheels program is an effort to solve a problem that, sadly, takes away too many children much too soon," said Mickey Pong, Chairman, Hyundai Hope On Wheels board of directors and Hyundai dealer-owner of North County Hyundai, Carlsbad, CA. "These beautiful and amazing kids represent our future. They deserve every opportunity to pursue their dreams, to achieve their potential and to just be kids. As Hyundai dealers, we will keep our hand in the fight for as long as it takes."
For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please visit www.HyundaiHopeOnWheels.org.
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HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.
HYUNDAI HOPE ON WHEELS
Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 U.S. dealers. At the end of its 15th year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will have awarded more than $72 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.
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