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LePage declares ‘Ron Eby Day,’ urges Mainers to vote for humanitarian

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 1:39 pm | Updated: 8:56 am, Fri Oct 5, 2012.

On Thursday, Gov. Paul LePage has declared Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, as “Ron Eby Day,” in honor of Ron Eby, owner of Windham Automotive, who is the only finalist from Maine in the second-annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian award contest.

The award was created by the NASCAR Foundation to honor passionate NASCAR fans that have made a profound impact on children in their communities. Eby, one of four finalists, was the only one selected from the entire northeast region.

On Wednesday, LePage met with Eby and Matthew Hoidal, the executive director of Camp Sunshine, to discuss the contest, Eby’s efforts to promote Camp Sunshine, and the work Camp Sunshine does to assist children with terminal illnesses and their families. During the meeting, LePage presented Eby with the proclamation that declares Oct. 12, 2012 to be “Ron Eby Day.” The proclamation is intended to promote Camp Sunshine and encourage Mainers to support their cause by voting for Eby in the online contest.

“Everything we do should be for our future children and grandchildren. Nobody understands that better than Ron Eby and Camp Sunshine,” said LePage. “Ron is the kind of person we are proud to call a Mainer, and I encourage everyone to get online and show their support for him and Camp Sunshine. People may vote once every 24 hours, so let’s vote as often as we can.”

By making it to the finals, Eby has already secured a $25,000 donation from the NASCAR Foundation to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. If Eby is selected as the recipient of this year’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, NASCAR will increase their donation to Camp Sunshine to $100,000.

“Camp Sunshine plays a crucial role in helping families through the trials of coping with a life-threatening illness. This is a great opportunity for Mainers to come together to support a wonderful cause. Let’s all show Ron our support,” said First Lady Ann LePage.

Camp Sunshine, located on Sebago Lake, is the only retreat in America whose mission is to address the impact of life-threatening illnesses on every member of the immediate family – the ill child, the parents, and the siblings. It is free of charge and staffed almost entirely by volunteers. Eby has worked to recruit business partnerships with Camp Sunshine and fundraised for them by selling Mexican cuisine at “Ron’s Mexican Cantina.” All proceeds from the sale of his food go to Camp Sunshine. In all, Eby has helped raise more than $250,000 for Camp Sunshine.

The NASCAR foundation will choose the winner through an online contest. People may vote online for their favorite finalist once every 24 hours, and whoever receives the most votes by midnight ET on Nov. 29 will be declared the winner.

To vote for Ron for the Betty Jean France Humanitarian Award, visit: http://www.nascar.com/award

To learn more about Camp Sunshine, visit: http://www.campsunshine.org/

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