St. Scholastica freshman's efforts net $25,000 for charityA Duluth teenager’s bid to win $100,000 for his favorite charity fell short. But the Starlight Children’s Foundation still will get $25,000, thanks to the efforts of Michael Jackson, a College of St. Scholastica freshman.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A Duluth teenager’s bid to win $100,000 for his favorite charity fell short.
But the Starlight Children’s Foundation still will get $25,000, thanks to the efforts of Michael Jackson, a College of St. Scholastica freshman.
Jackson was one of four semifinalists for the NASCAR-sponsored Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, announced Friday night at a Sprint Cup awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
They were chosen by the NASCAR Foundation from among hundreds of applicants who made a significant impact on the lives of children through volunteer or charitable work, a NASCAR news release said.
Jackson, who has cerebral palsy, benefited from the Starlight Foundation’s support during his frequent hospitalizations, he said during an interview in October. He returned the favor, setting up a website in 2006 that raised $1,700 for the foundation, and lobbying on behalf of Essentia Health for a Starlight Fun Center — a video game on a cart.
He also has bought books for children’s hospital libraries, raised money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and used graduation money to buy an Xbox Kinect for Essentia’s Polinsky Rehabilitation Center.
The winner, determined by online balloting, was Lorri Shealy Unumb of South Carolina, who drafted legislation — named Ryan’s Law after her son — that requires insurance companies to cover treatment for autism. Her $100,000 award will enable the Autism Academy of South Carolina to create a scholarship fund.
Michael Jackson’s mother, Mary Jackson, noted during the October interview that the $25,000 consolation award will be enough to purchase five Fun Centers for hospitals.