Jimmie Johnson Foundation 2017 Champion Grant Awards

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I’m a big fan of Jimmie Johnson, and his more than impressive NASCAR history is a remarkable achievement, and he’s not done yet. But more than racing cars, Johnson has never forgotten his roots here in El Cajon, East County and the entire San Diego region. If you ever had the chance to meet him, he’s actually humble and a bit shy. Yet he continues to awe us with his great sportsmanship and his love of racing cars.

I’m a big fan of Jimmie Johnson, and his more than impressive NASCAR history is a remarkable achievement, and he’s not done yet. But more than racing cars, Johnson has never forgotten his roots here in El Cajon, East County and the entire San Diego region. If you ever had the chance to meet him, he’s actually humble and a bit shy. Yet he continues to awe us with his great sportsmanship and his love of racing cars. There is another side to Johnson that deserves more attention and that is his unyielding support for his hometown community.

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation released its 2017 Champions Grants Awards, which funds 13 projects in three states totaling $508,339. And a good chunk of this money is coming to our local schools. This funding came from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Gold Tournament and Dinner at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event raised $753,000 to fund grants to K-12 public schools.

El Capitan High School is awarded $74,088, supporting the schools “Project Lead the Way” for the computer science pathway. Valhalla High School is awarded $36,390 to provide students professional grade industry standard cameras to gain necessary technical schools in pursuing employment and postsecondary educational opportunities.

Two San Diego elementary schools are in the mix also. Albert Einstein Academy Charter School is awarded $25,815 to infuse physical fitness and academics to create an action-based learning approach, creating an innovative break from traditional classroom learning styles. Wegeforth Elementary School is awarded $40,098 for high quality books for classroom libraries to increase student reading, engagement and achievement. This is also giving children a choice of what to read independently as they reach these goals.

Although there are many people in sports, television, movies and other “celebrity” arenas that make way more money than they are worth. It is horrible that most people cannot go to a pro sports game, and part of the reason is the oversized paychecks that these athletes make. And the same goes for many other celebrity types that range from athletes to business moguls.

When I see anyone that has a celebrity status that continuously gives back to the community that they come from, they live in or indiscriminately, they instantly hit my Hall of Fame list. Jimmie Johnson, his wife Chandra and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation are Hall of Fame material in my look on life. As you have seen in coverage over the years, the Foundation has done much here in East County, the place he grew up and called home for all of his young years and he has never forgotten that. That is a real celebrity in my book and I believe he should be recognized as much for his charitable championships as his NASCAR record-breaking career.

May our future celebrities that come from this neck of the woods remember where their roots were when they come in a position to help those less fortunate, and take the vision of Jimmie Johnson forwarded as the voyage on with great careers and become public figures and role models.

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