NASCAR drivers are among the most active athletes in all of sports in their support of worthwhile causes and charities.
|Greg Biffle poses above with two of his dogs.|
Savannah (left) is a rescue dog. On the right is Gracie, who has since passed away.
From children’s hospitals to education to cancer treatment and research facilities, drivers lend their names -- and much of their free time -- to activities that serve the greater good. Drivers have raised many millions of dollars for charities over the years.
Noting other drivers’ activities with numerous charitable causes, Greg Biffle considered his options years ago and decided to go to the dogs.
Always an animal lover, Biffle started the Greg Biffle Foundation with a goal of supporting animal shelters and educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Typically, the foundation activities raise about $200,000 a year, Biffle said.
“I had always had dogs growing up,” he said. “Then I lived in an apartment in Michigan and didn’t really have an area. When I moved to North Carolina (to enhance his NASCAR career), I started looking around for a dog and got Foster (a boxer). He became part of the family quickly. He traveled with me to all the races, went to the shop, everything.”
Starting a foundation geared toward animals was a natural, Biffle said.
“I started hearing about all these animal cruelty cases,” he said. “There was an awful news story about a woman who had Rottweilers and had mistreated them. A lot of the drivers were starting foundations, so we decided to start one tied to animals.”
One of the foundation’s major fundraisers is its annual NASCAR Pets Calendar. The calendar features NASCAR drivers and other NASCAR folks posing with the pets. Since its debut in 2004, the calendar has been a big hit.
In addition to the more traditional dog and cat photos, the calendar also has included goats, horses and donkeys.
For 2017, the calendar project has a new twist.
“Fans have always asked about being included, so this time we’re going to do that,” Biffle said. “We decided it would be great to give back to our loyal supporters by featuring four lucky fans in the 2017 calendar. The NASCAR Pets Calendar is unique in that it shows drivers off the track with some very special family members -- their pets -- and it really resonates with our fans.”
Fans can enter three ways:
Submit a high-quality photo with your pet to email@example.com before May 20, 2016. Purchase a raffle ticket at the Greg Biffle Foundation website by May 27. One fan will be drawn randomly for inclusion in the calendar. Join the silent auction at nascarfoundation.org/auctions by May 27. The highest bidder will be chosen.
For more information, visit gregbifflefoundation.com.
The foundation’s 2016 calendar featured Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Biffle and others.
Biffle also is president of his local Friends of the Animals group. The group has been raising money to build an animal adoption and education center near Lake Norman, N.C. He said the group hopes to break ground on the facility soon.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Biffle said. “And 99 percent of the money that comes in goes directly to the cause. There’s a lot to be done, but we’re working on it.”
The driver motorhome lot at every NASCAR race is populated not only by the drivers and their family members but also by their pets. Biffle called Foster and Gracie, two of his dogs who died recently, “stars of the motorhome lot.”
Biffle now has Savannah, a rescue dog, and Killian, a boxer.