(BELLWOOD, Ill. - March 20, 2003) - There's a silver lining to every story. Just ask Sullivan East High School of Bluff City, Tennessee. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, along with the help of new Sharpie Metallic silver markers, today is delivering school supplies and kicking off a "Silver" weekend of fundraising.
Sharpie markers, made by Sanford, is pledging up to $5,000 to the school that in October and November of last year temporarily closed its doors due to a potentially hazardous black mold problem. Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS), home of the Sharpie 500 in August, served as a makeshift classroom during those months while the issue was corrected for the school's more than 1,100 students, teachers and administrators. The incident received widespread national media attention.
"Bristol and BMS have a special place in my heart," said Busch, who claimed his first Winston Cup victory exactly a year ago at March's Food City 500. "And these kids and teachers have faced some real challenges. We're looking to find the silver lining with the help of fans and Sharpie Metallic silver markers this weekend."
Sharpie is offering $1 for each race fan's signature collected at a designated autograph area using Sharpie Metallic silver markers at BMS this weekend. The school will use the proceeds from the effort for needed equipment.
"Our teachers and students know first-hand the meaning of 'silver lining,'" said Mary Rouse, principal of Sullivan East High School. "We are so thankful to Bristol Motor Speedway, and now we extend our grateful appreciation to Sharpie markers and Sanford. We want to thank them for this gracious contribution and opportunity for our students. While Sharpie markers always were in our school, today's gesture proves the people at Sanford place a premium on education, and it is a gesture that our students and faculty will remember for years to come."
The high school's students, teachers and administrators will be guests of Bristol Motor Speedway for the Busch series race on Saturday, March 22.
Sharpie is also matching the gift to the school with a donation to Speedway Children's Charities (SCC), a nonprofit organization that touches approximately 200,000 youth in need.Checks will be presented to both the school's principal, Mary Rouse, and M/General Thomas M. Sadler, USAF (ret), executive director of SCC over the weekend.
In addition to helping raise money for the school and SCC, Busch is driving a special paint scheme featuring new Sharpie Metallic silver markers on the No. 97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Ford at the Food City 500 on Sunday, March 23.
"From art classes to the principal's desk, Sharpie markers can be found in virtually every school across the country," said Greg Stoner, vice president and general manager for Sharpie at Sanford. "We're pleased to be providing assistance to the community that is home to the Sharpie 500."
The Sharpie brand is the title sponsor of NASCAR's Winston Cup race held in August at BMS, the Sharpie 500.