Six-time NASCAR champ takes break from Chase to join Lowe’s for ribbon-cutting in Moore
MOORE, OKLA. – As part of its continued commitment to assist the communities impacted by the deadly 2013 tornado in Oklahoma, Lowe’s teamed with six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson to fund the reconstruction of three area school gyms destroyed by the storm. On Thursday, Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, joined more than 40 Lowe’s employees at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Highland East Junior High to celebrate the opening of the gyms.
Lowe’s and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation funded the new gyms at Highland East, Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary in Moore. The work was completed in time for all three gyms to be ready for the 2014-2015 school year.
“We’re extremely grateful to Lowe’s and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation for the generous donations to help us rebuild these gyms for nearly 1,600 students this year and for all those in the years to come,” said Dr. Robert Romines, superintendent of Moore Public Schools. “Without their donations, the school district would not have been able to complete these projects.”
Since the tornado touched down on May 20, 2013, Lowe’s has been assisting tornado victims across the region. Lowe’s donated $1 million to support immediate relief and long-term rebuilding efforts. While Lowe’s disaster relief partners provided search and rescue assistance at Plaza Towers, Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers fanned out into area neighborhoods to donate relief supplies and help local families clear their properties.
“In the weeks following the storm, Lowe’s and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation reached out to officials to find out what we could do to help rebuild Moore,” Dennis Knowles, Lowe’s executive of U.S. stores, said at the ribbon-cutting. “We’re proud to help these three schools and their students rebuild, move forward and move past the damage inflicted by the tornado.”
Johnson, who opens the Contender Round of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, returned to Moore to offer his continued support for rebuilding efforts. After last year’s tornado, Johnson teamed with Lowe’s to host a relief event at Lowe’s of Moore. Johnson and Lowe’s employees distributed a truckload of food and cleaning supplies and comforted local families.
On Thursday, Johnson met with students at Plaza Towers and Highland East. After the ribbon-cutting, he spoke with the Highland East girls and boys basketball teams about the importance of teamwork and applauded their resilience.
“After the tornado last year, it was so hard to see all of the devastation that Moore suffered. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine what the families were going through, knowing their children were in school and knowing that schools were hit,” Johnson said. “I was proud to partner with Lowe’s to help and excited that we had the opportunity to do more this year for the schools and students in Moore.”
About Lowe’s in the Community
Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Foundation together have contributed nearly $200 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility and LowesInTheCommunity.tumblr.com.
About the Jimmie Johnson Foundation
Chandra and Jimmie Johnson launched the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in February 2006. Johnson, the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, drives the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS in NASCAR’s top series. The mission of the foundation is to assist children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. The foundation has committed more than $7.7 million to various charities. The foundation currently focuses on K-12 public education. For additional information on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, please visit www.JimmieJohnsonFoundation.org.
About Moore Public Schools
The Moore Public School District, also known as Moore Public Schools, is the third largest school district in the state of Oklahoma, after Tulsa Public Schools and Oklahoma City Public Schools, with an enrollment of 23,400 as of September 2014. For more information, visit www.mooreschools.com.