Corey LaJoie and his #7 “Never Ever Give Up” car encourages fans to drive support for Jessie’s JoyJars®
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NASCAR comes to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on February 26, and a Southern California non-profit will be boosting its national visibility with Corey LaJoie’s debut of his “Never Ever Give Up” (NEGU) car.
For the first time ever, LaJoie’s No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be painted in honor of the Jessie Rees Foundation (JRF) for six NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023, including Auto Club Speedway, Martinsville, Daytona, Bristol, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. “NEGU” will be prominently displayed on the hood and door panels, and the car will be painted in the charity’s primary color of blue, accented by a yellow childhood cancer ribbon. The sponsorship resulted from a partnership between the Spire Motorsports and a private philanthropic foundation.
As part of partnership, LaJoie will personally deliver Jessie’s JoyJars® to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital ahead of this weekend’s race.
The Jessie Rees Foundation was founded when 12-year-old Jessica Joy Rees – known to those who loved her as simply Jessie – was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given just 12-to-18 months to live. As her mom and dad grappled with the news few can comprehend and considered treatment plans that would be extraordinarily taxing to their daughter’s young body, Jessie wasn’t thinking about herself. Jessie was thinking about others, and how they could be comforted with JoyJars.
“For children who have cancer and their families, every day is a journey, and smiles are sometimes hard to come by,” said Erik Rees, Jessie’s proud dad and President of the Jessie Rees Foundation. “Our daughter Jessie understood that all too well. Her goal was to bring smiles to all the kids around her by delivering JoyJars.
“Because of the incredible generosity of one of our donors and Spire Motorsports and Corey LaJoie, we are excited to help NASCAR fans across the nation understand the importance of bringing joy to kids fighting cancer. And I think it’s only serendipitous that Corey’s last name carries a message of ‘joy’ as well, making him the ideal ambassador,” added Rees.
For LaJoie, driving the #7 NEGU car brings a special meaning.
“As a dad of two small sons, I care deeply about all things that could affect our kids. Childhood cancer affects too many families today, and we need to do everything we can to support and lift up these kids and their families,” said LaJoie. “I’m really looking forward to hand-delivering JoyJars to local children’s hospitals every time I come to a new town for a race, starting with my visit to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital before this week’s race in Fontana. I’m also encouraging my friends, family and fans to contribute to the Jessie Rees Foundation by sponsoring a JoyJar and help bring a smile to the face of a child who is fighting cancer.”
For NASCAR fans wishing to show their support to the Jessie Rees Foundation, a $107 donation will fill four JoyJars and the donor will receive a free LaJoie t-shirt. Donations can be made by visiting https://negu.org/coreylajoie. The Jessie Rees Foundation will also be participating in the NASCAR Foundation’s Give-a-thon later this year.
About the Jessie Rees Foundation …
The Jessie Rees Foundation was inspired by a courageous and compassionate eleven-year-old girl named Jessica Joy Rees, who was best known as “Jessie.” Friends and family describe Jessie as a faith-filled, athletic, caring, and loving girl who courageously fought two brain tumors (DIPG) from March 3, 2011, to January 5, 2012.
During Jessie’s courageous fight, she realized thousands of other kids fighting cancer couldn’t leave the hospital. This burden inspired Jessie to create her fun filled JoyJars®, 64 oz. plastic jars stuffed to the very top with new, age-appropriate toys, games, and activities for kids fighting cancer. Jessie also visited kids fighting cancer and encouraged them with her message and motto to NEGU (Never Ever Give Up). Before losing her fight to cancer, she filled more than 3,000 JoyJars with family and friends and encouraged thousands more to NEGU.
Today, her legacy lives on through the Jessie Rees Foundation. Due to the generosity of thousands of people, companies, and volunteers, over 430,000 JoyJars have been sent to kids fighting cancer in all 50 states and over 52 countries. While the Jessie Rees Foundation does not focus on curing cancer, they do cure bad days caused by childhood cancer with hope, joy, and love. Join TeamNEGU today at www.negu.org.
About Spire Motorsports …
Spire Motorsports is a full-time, two-car NASCAR Cup Series race team co-owned by long-time NASCAR industry executives Jeff Dickerson and Thaddeus “T.J.” Puchyr. In 2023, Spire Motorsports will field the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for driver Corey LaJoie and No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Ty Dillion. The team also fields a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team in select events.
Spire Motorsports earned its inaugural victory in its first full season of competition when Justin Haley took the checkered flag in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2019. Less than three years later, William Byron drove Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado to its inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win on April 7, 2022, at Martinsville Speedway.
Shaya Rees Frum, 949-870-0251
Carrie Gilbreth, 909-567-7391