Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chicagoland Speedway's "CLS Heros" to Serve as Grand Marshals for the Tales of Turtles 400

Chicagoland Speedway's "CLS Heros" to Serve as Grand Marshals for the Tales of Turtles 400

Volunteering and Helping Those In Need In Houston and Elsewhere

Amy Jo Walter - Chicagoland Speedway CLS Heroes #NASCAR Grand Marshal.
On April 28, Chicagoland Speedway invited fans to nominate their personal heroes in hopes of being selected as a "CLS Hero." Whether it’s a soldier, police officer, fireman, teacher, coach, parent or anyone in between, Chicagoland wanted to hear their story.

The CLS Heroes will serve as Grand Marshals for the Tales of Turtles 400 on Sunday, September 17.

The Final Recipient is...

Amy Jo Walter

Hard work and determination led Amy Jo to accept her to her dream of being admitted to the Illinois Fire Academy, only to result in a career-ending injury sustained in the line of duty. Despite the circumstances, Amy Jo continues to assist the Fire Academy as well as volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, a humanitarian organization where she provides support to victims of natural disasters. Amy Jo has been working periodically in Houston, TX assisting flood victims and their families.

The August Recipients Are...

Robert Paoni

Chicagoland Speedway CLS Heroes #NASCAR Grand Marshal.Robert Paoni is not one a 21-year veteran of the Illinois Air National Guard, but also an outstanding dad. As a single parent, Robert juggled raising two children while working a full-time job with the State of Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety. Despite his struggles, Robert successfully saved enough money to put his daughter through college allowing her to graduate in 2016 completely debt-free and continues to raise his son with special needs.

Kevin Matychowiak

Kevin Matychowiak served in the United States Air Force for 25 years. During his many years of service, Kevin was deployed twice to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and again to Afghanistan during the War on Terrorism. Now that he is retired, he continues to work for the Air Force as a Logistics War Planner at the Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Ill. While he jokes that he could never truly leave the military, it is honestly what defines him. Being the definition of an all-American, Kevin has a deep love for faith, family, country and NASCAR. 

Here are the July Winners!

Ines Kutlesa

Chicagoland Speedway CLS Heroes #NASCAR Grand Marshal.
Chief Executive Officer of Guardian Angel Community Services, Ines Kutlesa, has devoted her life to helping others. She has touched countless lives of women and children who have been victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Those who know Ines describe her as “one of the most kind and unselfish individuals”, going above and beyond to help and support victims of domestic violence.

Dylan Richardson

Dylan was like any other 7-year-old boy, he loved SpongeBob, Star Wars, baseball, riding his bike, and superheroes like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (his favorite Donatello). In July of 2007 Dylan was involved in fatal car accident. He took the brunt of the impact, resulting in severe head trauma. Despite valiant lifesaving efforts, he died 40 hours later. Dylan, however has lived on as a “superhero” saving the lives of others through his organ donation. Dylan’s heart went to a teenage girl in South Carolina, his kidneys to a man in Kansas, and his liver traveled halfway around the world to save a young man in the United Arab Emirates. His parents have honored him by sharing his story to demonstrate the impact organ donations can have on the lives of strangers. In 2014, he was honored by Joey Gase #52 at his race. Joey has been affected by the impact of organ donation and makes a point of honoring donors on his racecar. This goes to show that sometimes superheroes can be found in the most unlikely places, like little boys in red capes.

Dale Stafford

Dale Stafford is a Wounded Warrior and Purple Heart recipient. Despite being disabled and experiencing pain everyday due to PTSD and along with other injuries, he continues to keep a positive attitude. Most importantly, he serves, as an inspiration for his two sons. He is an ever present source of support in their lives. Dale acts as their scout leader and is an eagle scout. His 13- year- old son speaks of him highly saying “he is a true example to us of how to never give up no matter what life gives you.”

Here are the first recipients:

James Griesenauer

Jim Griesenauer serves as a Niles, Ill. Police Officer where he continually goes above and beyond in the line of duty. For instance, Jim was the responding office on the scene of a 911 call for a heart attack. Jim was able to deliver one man CPR until EMTs arrived essentially saving the man’s life because he was attended to quickly. Another incident involved Jim’s off-duty action to call in a house fire that had yet to be reported. Jim even checked to ensure occupants had evacuated – which they had not. He ended up coaxing an elderly woman and escorting her from the house to safety.

Lyndi Bieber

Lyndi Bieber is a 14-year veteran of the Cedar Rapids Police Department and mother to identical twin boys. After a particularly distressing pregnancy culminating with the twins being born 4 months early forcing them into the NICU and then coming home on oxygen and heart monitors. While her twins now thrive at home, Lyndi still patrols the city streets throughout the night making her a hero at home and at work.

Cauy Clarke

Chicagoland Speedway CLS Heroes #NASCAR Grand Marshal.Cauy was born with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex –a complex that causes tumors to form on the organs. At 16-years-old Cauy has dealt with epilepsy, autism, severe ADHD and migraines and he has had 3 separate brain surgeries. Despite his constant struggles, Cauy bounces back stronger after each surgery with a determination to return to sports, school and everyday life.

William (Bill) Vaci

Following a drill-filled morning focusing on “hitting it hard from the yard,” the Engine House at 212 W Cermak was called to building fire. When they arrived a woman was trapped on the third floor with flames erupting from every point of entry. Bill was quick to respond yelling to hit it hard from the yard. Once the flames died back, Bill ran to the ladder and saved the trapped woman.

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