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Jimmie Johnson announces 5 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grant recipients

blue bunny helmet of hope logo

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and Mike Wells, President and CEO of Wells Enterprises, Inc., makers of Blue Bunny Ice Cream, have announced the five recipients of this year’s $25,000 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope grants.

The Helmet of Hope program allows fans and consumers to nominate and vote for not-for-profit organizations that support K-12 public education. Nearly 225,000 votes were cast this year for the 10 semifinalists.

The 2016 Helmet of Hope recipients are:

* ArtWell (Philadelphia)

* Carlos Gilbert Elementary Parents! Teachers! Kids! (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

* Change for Kids (New York City)

* Inside the Outdoors Foundation (Costa Mesa, California)

* Mercy Child Advocacy Center (Sioux City, Iowa)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500

TALLADEGA, AL - MAY 01: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, is introduced prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Getty Images

“The vote this year was incredibly close,” Johnson said in a media release. “As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Chani (wife) and I are thrilled to have partners like Blue Bunny that make it possible for us to provide funding for the great work the five grant recipients are doing to support K-12 public education.”

The five remaining semi-finalist charities each received a $1,000 grant and a Blue Bunny Ice Cream party, as well.

Since its inception, the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program has awarded over $810,000 to 81 different charities.

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