action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

June 28. 2013 12:33AM

NHMS to host first responders


Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. 2008 (THOMAS ROY / UNION LEADER)

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will honor first responders to the Boston Marathon bombings and Newtown (Conn.) school shootings during its next NASCAR weekend, July 11-14, an NHMS official said on Thursday.

Jerry Gappens, the speedway's vice president and general manager, made the announcement during the Champions Lunch in Boston, hosted by five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

"We have reached out to some of our corporate partners, and they are contributing money to allow us to host thousands of first responders and their families at the races," said Gappens. "So far, we have delivered 2,000 tickets, and the program will run right up to race weekend. We are using the platform of the largest sporting event (in New England) to get this message out, to say thanks to the first responders."

Gappens also announced that newly created T-shirts with the "Boston Strong" motto will be on sale throughout the July 11-14 events, which culminate in the New Hampshire 301 Sprint Cup race. All proceeds from sales of the shirts will go to victims of the Marathon bombings.

"We will use the venue, and the 100,000 people who will visit, to be a platform for the survivors," said Gappens. "Race fans love T-shirts, and they love a purpose. We expect these shirts will sell in big numbers. And in addition, our chapter of Speedway Children's Charities will take steps to help the young people who have been affected by these recent tragic events."

Originally planned as a celebration of local sports stars, the Champions Lunch took on new meaning after the April 15 attacks on the Marathon, Gappens said. Among those featured at Thursday's lunch was Richard "Dic" Donohue, the MBTA officer who was seriously injured in the shootout with the bombing suspects days after the Marathon.

"I have severe nerve damage in my foot, and I may never return to the job I love, but I am optimistic," said Donohue, whose wife, Kim, is a graduate of Exeter High School. "Those first responders who supported us — to me, these people are the champions. Without their support, we couldn't physically, mentally or emotionally heal from these attacks."

Said Johnson, "I was excited to meet Dic Donohue. He is a hero to me."

In addition to Johnson, champion athletes at the lunch included four who won titles as members of Boston teams, the Patriots Joe Andruzzi (2002, '04, '05), the Bruins' Johnny Bucyk (1970, '72), the Red Sox' Tim Wakefield (2004, '07) and the Celtics' Jo Jo White (1974, '76).

Andruzzi was hosting an event near the Marathon finish line when the bombs exploded. The brother of three New York City firefighters, he immediately went into first-responder mode, rushing to the site of the explosions and carrying at least one injured victim to safety and medical attention.


  • Should professional sports teams impose penalties on athletes for behaviors unrelated to performance on the field?
  • Yes
  • 59%
  • No
  • 13%
  • Depends on offense
  • 28%
  • Total Votes: 64
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices as productive as any

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!