The Kevin Harvick Foundation held its 6thAnnual Kevin Harvick Foundation Dinner, Auction and Concert presented by Jimmy John's Thursday evening in uptown Charlotte, N.C. More than 270 guests attended the dinner and silent auction, held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, followed by a private concert featuring Jake Owen, Chase Rice and Matt Stillwell.
Proceeds from the evening benefitted the Kevin Harvick Foundation's mission and its partnership with The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which helps build character and teaches critical life lessons to disadvantaged youth residing in America's most distressed communities through baseball and softball-themed programs and ballparks.
During the dinner, emceed by NASCAR on NBC announcer Rick Allen, Harvick presented a special award to Mark Butler, CEO and President of Ollie's Bargain Outlet, in appreciation for his and his company's cumulative donation of more than $1 million to the foundation over the years, and to Jimmy John Liautaud, owner of Jimmy John's, for his company's commitment as presenting sponsor of the evening.
Also during the event, Owen, who rarely is at a loss for words, received a big surprise, when Harvick announced the two foundations will collaborate to open another Youth Development Park, named in Owen's honor, in his hometown of Vero Beach, Fla. For the past several years, Owen has been a strong proponent of the Kevin Harvick Foundation and has tirelessly donated his time, memorabilia and personal funds to its cause.
"This sports complex is going to literally change children's lives and provide such a positive impact on our community of Vero Beach," Owen said. "I'm so proud to call Kevin Harvick a friend, and forever grateful for his continued generosity towards our foundation and many others."
"What an incredible evening we had last night with our partners and friends," Harvick said. "The efforts of the Kevin Harvick Foundation wouldn't have been possible this year without the commitment of each person in the room, and DeLana and I are incredibly thankful for the continued support. It also was a privilege to honor Mark Butler, Jimmy John Liautaud and Jake Owen, three men who have played pivotal roles in the success of the foundation over the years."
Additionally, Harvick delivered an update on projects completed by the foundation in 2016, including this week's Ollie's Shopping Spree and the opening of a second multi-purpose Youth Development Park, in conjunction with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif. In November 2015, the foundations opened their first joint park in Greensboro, N.C.