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Tony’s helmets fascinate me.  I love the different designs he has (I believe they are painted by Justin Beam in Las Vegas) and I would love to know how many different helmets he has in a season.  Anyway- a helmet from a favorite driver can be a coveted addition to any race fan’s collection. Well, Smoke fans, here is your chance to bid on the helmet or the firesuit of Tony Stewart- all to support a great cause.  They are RACE USED at the recent Chicagoland race where Stewart ran the BACK-TO-SCHOOL Office Depot paint scheme. Both the helmet and the firesuit go along with that special BACK-TO-SCHOOL paint scheme and would be an awesome additon to any collection. 

You could own this very firesuit from the Back-To-School paint scheme run by Tony at Chicagoland earlier this year. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

Or you might want to own one of the helmets from Chicagoland instead? (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

Both items, auctioned separately, will be autographed by Tony Stewart himself.  Proceeds from the auction will go to support the Office Depot Foundation’s work in the National Backpack Program that provides backpacks full of school supplies to children in need across the county.  It’s a program that Stewart has been working with since his sponsorship with Office Depot began last year: 

“It was a lot of fun to have the special back-to-school paint scheme on my No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy earlier this summer, and I’m very proud to partner with the Office Depot Foundation on its National Backpack Program,” Stewart said. “I can tell you from experience how rewarding it is to see the look on these kids’ faces when they get a new backpack – it’s an automatic boost of confidence for them and helps them feel ready to take on the new school year just like everybody else. I hope fans will help support this awesome program by participating in the online auction.”

The auction is only running from NOW until August 23rd, 2010 so get your bids in now by visiting the auction site at the Office Depot Racing website.

When I was a kid- I LOVED going shopping for school supplies. I think it was a precursor to my addiction to all things office-supply product related.  Seriously my favorite driver couldn’t have a better sponsor to me!

Tony Stewart and The Office Depot Foundation will be holding a special “Back-To-School” event on July 8th, 2010 at a Chicago area Office Depot.  During the event Tony Stewart will assist the Office Depot Foundation in donating 4,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to Chicago area organizations that assist local children in need as part of the annual National Backpack Program.

Office Depot and The Office Depot Foundation have donated 2.3 million backpacks across the country since the inception of this program in 2001.  Tony Stewart participated in this program last year and this year plans on assisting the Office Depot Foundation in donating 300,000 backpacks nationwide.  These backpacks will be presented to representatives from several organizations in the Chicagoland area including: Casa Central, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Youth Programs, PUSH for Excellence, Jane Addams Hull House Association, Speedway Children’s Charities, and others.

These backpacks are not available to the public. However Stewart will be doing a public autograph signing in conjunction with the presentation with the backpacks.  He will be signing autographs at the Office Depot (2928 North Ashland Avenue Chicago, IL 60657) from 4:45-5:45 local time on July 8th.  To get an autograph you have to have a wristband. Wristbands will be distributed on a first come first serve basis starting at 7:00am local time at the Office Depot location.   The Office Depot #14 show car with the “Back To School” paint scheme will also be at the event for your viewing pleasure.

If you have read me for awhile you know that I support the NASCAR Foundation’s NASCAR DAY fundraising effort. I have for several years. NASCAR DAY falls on the third friday every May. The NASCAR foundation sells NASCAR DAY pins for fans and supports to wear on this special day. Money from the sale of the pins goes each year to support the NASCAR Foundation and the many foundations and causes that they support. Pins sell for $5.00 and are available at the tracks during the races as well as through the NASCAR Foundation website. The last several years I have proudly worn my pin on NASCAR DAY to work after buying one each year usually at a track…usually at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This year they are encouraging fans to wear their pin through NASCAR DAY- a great idea to spread word about their cause(s). They are using the catchphrase GET YOUR PIN ON!

Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation are making it easier for you to get YOUR PIN on.  They are now available at all Office Depot locations for the same $5.00 donation. So you should listen to Tony and

GET YOUR PIN ON!!!

Sidenote to those who don’t have Office Depot’s close to them- you can also buy your pins online.  I also saw them at sale at the Bass Pro in Las Vegas- so you might want to check your local Bass Pro.

Unfortunately almost everyone you talk to either knows some one who has cancer, has cancer themselves or knows someone who died of cancer– it’s something that has touched many lives and not in a good way. My parents have had very two good family friends who have died from cancer and my beloved paternal grandfather died of cancer. That is why I am supporting City of Hope. City of Hope’s main mission is to take cutting edge research and close the gap between that research and effective new treatments for cancer patients.  And if you donate to City of Hope right now your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by the Office Depot Foundation.  It’s their mission to help raise a total of $1 million dollars for City of Hope…you can learn more about Tony Stewart and the Office Depot Foundation’s donation match at cityofhope.org/fightcancer.

(Video provided by Edelman)

Ok no I didn’t go fishing with Tony but how fun would that be? I haven’t been fishing in ages…and yes I have gone fishing several times in my life…and do find it enjoyable for the most part. When I was a kid I probably didn’t appreciate it as much at the time as I do now…but I had some great times fishing with my dad and my grandfather both…and I appreciate those moments now. Anyway…just this last Tuesday Tony found himself fishing in Florida for a good cause:

Tony Stewart (far left) traded in his firesuit for jeans and a t-shirt when he joined Office Depot vendors, partners and executives on Tuesday, November 3, to participate in the inaugural Office Depot Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament at Roland Martin Marina on Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Joining Stewart from left to right: Ed Cooper of Sanford/Newell Rubbermaid, Ken Karroll, professional guide, and Wade Eveleth, senior director of merchandising for Office Depot. (Photo credit: Gort Productions).

Tony Stewart joined Office Depot vendors, partners and executives on Tuesday November 3rd participating in the inaugural Office Depot Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament at Roland Martin Marine on Lake Okeechobee (I don’t know how you pronounce it but I pronounce it Ohkee Cho Bee) in Florida.  Funds raised in the tournament will be used to support the Office Depot Foundation’s mission to assist children and families in the community of Southern Florida and around the world.  This year alone Stewart helped the Office Depot Foundation donate more that 300,000 backpacks filled with essential school supplies across the country.  Looks like they really had to twist his arm to participate (I am kidding people- we all know Tony loves to fish)!

Of the event Tony said:

“It was a lot of fun getting out on Lake Okeechobee for the Office Depot Foundation’s first-ever Charity Fishing Tournament and raising money for such a great cause.”

Tony’s fishing team finished in the top third of the 37 boat field, catching its five fish limit with a total catch weight of just over 10 pounds.

I know I have been absent lately…I apologize and promise to get back into the posting groove very soon…but I had to share two things with you:

First I wanted to to share these pictures provided to me of Tony Stewart with some of the backpack recipients because I think the pictures are precious! Tony, with the help of the Office Depot Foundation, donated several thousand backpacks filled with school supplies to various organizations supporting children and education in the Charlotte NC area just yesterday.

I have made it no secret that I absolutely ADORE office supplies (especially pens and stickie notes) and when I was a kid I was always excited to get new school supplies.  I still can’t go into office depot and come out with just what was on my list….I usually come out with about three times as much stuff (usually pens and stickies but all kinds of other stuff too).  And sometimes when I was a kid my dad would come home with swag from promotions at work and I would always beg for the free pens and pencils (you know like united way or benefit fairs -those kind of things).   So I know these kids are probably really stoked to be getting the backpack filled with goodies!! It’s a great program!

Secondly…Badgroove was given an honor of sorts (YEY me!!).  We are ranked 10th on this website’s list of the top 20 NASCAR Blogs.  How cool is that? We are in some GREAT company…so YEY!!