One of the popular precursors to Catwalk for a Cause is the Painting Party where our Heroes, brave children and teens who have fought, or continue to fight cancer, and their NASCAR buddies will walk the runway show and forge friendships that will last forever.
This year’s event took place on Tuesday, April 9th at the Rescue Ranch in Statesville, N.C., owned and operated by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, a longtime runway participant, and his wife, Krissie. The non-profit animal welfare and educational organization not only hosted the party, but also provided access to its animal ambassadors and the Earnhardt Family Playground, a 10,000 square foot inclusive playground that welcomes children of all abilities to have fun on eight wheelchair accessible activity centers, roller and sidewinder slides, sway fun, several climbing walls, one handicap-accessible zipline, custom play barn, swings and much more.
This year’s Catwalk theme is “Fight Night”. Special thanks to Painting with a Twist in Mooresville, N.C., who donated their time and resources to teach the class and specially-design a boxing glove canvas for all the participants to paint. The one-of-a-kind artwork will be on display and up for bid during the silent auction at Catwalk for a Cause happening on May 15 at the Statesville (N.C.) Regional Airport. All proceeds from the silent auction will help families that are affected by childhood cancer by supporting families enduring emotional and financial stress and advocate for better and more effective treatments for tragically underfunded cancers.
“My heart is so full of love and hate,” said Sherry Pollex, co-founder of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and ovarian cancer survivor. “Love because I just met these precious angels and I love them so much already, I’d throw myself in front of a bus, so they could have a chance at enjoying a full life. The hatred I feel is for a system that only allocates four percent of its annual cancer budget to help find better treatments and a cure for childhood cancer. We as a country can do better. Our kids deserve better. They deserve a life full of freedom, innocence and JOY.
“As long as I am on this earth, I’ll never stop fighting for these little humans. They give me purpose every day. They put my life in purpose even on the worst of days. They make me believe that love is pure and innocence is real.
“Thank you to all the drivers and their families that came out to show their support and give their time and love to a cause that isn’t even their own. You all are amazing and I’m forever grateful for this event and the joy our foundation brings us every day.”
Funds for the 10th Anniversary of Catwalk for a Cause will once again support cancer initiatives at Atrium Health and Novant Health in Charlotte, N.C., as well as helping drive awareness, boost advocacy, and generate financial support for underfunded cancer research initiatives specific to ovarian and childhood cancers.