OC Today – Ocean City, MD | November 16, 2018
Originally published on oceancitytoday.com
This is the last week to vote for the Believe In Tomorrow Foundation to win $100,000 and a multi-year charity relationship with NASCAR.
The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is a yearly competition between thousands of children’s charities and honors a dedicated NASCAR fan who has positively impacted the lives of children through volunteerism.
The four national finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award includes Carl Dakes, a volunteer for the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation.
Dakes, of Crofton, Maryland, is a paint contractor by profession and president of The Dakes Company Inc. He has volunteered thousands of hours over the past 18 years, painting all nine Believe in Tomorrow facilities, including the pediatric hospital in Baltimore and several respite houses spanning from North Carolina to Fenwick Island, Delaware.
“We’re just incredibly honored to be a part of it and excited to be a part of it,” Believe In Tomorrow CEO Brian Morrison said. “We nominated Carl back in February this year. It’s very exciting and very well deserved because Carl is a one-in-a-million volunteer. He has incredible enthusiasm for helping others and volunteering and making a difference in this world. He is [also] a super NASCAR fan, so it fit well.”
The award winner will be determined via an online fan vote that kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 24, and runs until Monday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m.
“Believe in Tomorrow saves those families so much time and money. They offer them phenomenal weeks and that includes all the restaurants and supporters and games because this whole thing is not just one group of people,” Dakes said.
“It has grown, especially in Ocean City, where Believe In Tomorrow is well known, well respected and well loved,” he continued. “Once I get to meet the families and I get to see the things they get to do while on their week, it’s so amazing because they need this. It rejuvenates them. The children have these beautiful smiles and the parents have wonderful memories.”
Dakes, who is nicknamed “Carl the Painter,” was incredibly humbled by the nomination.
Should Believe in Tomorrow win, the money will be used to expand the Ocean City facilities, which has a site waiting for development on 65th Street and is expected to break ground in late 2018/early 2019.
“If you vote for us, you’re basically a part of the project,” Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Respite Housing Program, said. “It only takes a few seconds and you can be a part of the new children’s house.”
The winner will be announced Thursday, Nov. 29, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will donate $25,000 to each charity represented by the award finalists, and the charity with the most votes will receive a $100,000 donation and a multi-year charity relationship with NASCAR.
“The really important thing is that people need to vote every day,” Morrison said.
Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation provides hospital and respite housing services to critically ill children and their families. Since 1982, Believe In Tomorrow has provided over 900,000 individual overnight accommodations, from every state in the U.S. and more than 82 countries worldwide.
The Believe In Tomorrow facility on 66th Street in Ocean City is open year-round to provide a free getaway to the beach for critically ill children and their families whenever they may need to escape the stresses of their child’s illness.
Each of the four condos feature kid-friendly décor and paintings with at least two bedrooms, a full bathroom, a fully-stocked kitchen, living and dining room areas.
Families can also vacation at the Believe In Tomorrow House in Fenwick Island and House by the Bay on 28th Street.
Learn more about Believe In Tomorrow at https://believeintomorrow.org or call Littleton at 443-978-0680.