Local Driver Drives Dollars for Local Charity

Down Syndrome of Louisville Recognized as a Finalist for $100,000 National Grant Through the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

Online Voting Begins 10/14/2021 at 6 p.m. and Runs through November 12th at Noon

(LOUISVILLE, KY) October 14, 2021 – Down Syndrome of Louisville has announced today that it is in the running for a $100,000 national grant, which would be used locally to help support, educate and advocate for individuals with Down syndrome in our local community. The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a NASCAR fan who is a dedicated volunteer working on behalf of children’s causes. Jeff Harmon, a local volunteer, and dad that supports Down Syndrome of Louisville was nominated by a Down Syndrome of Louisville team member to be a finalist, and will now represent the organization for a chance at $100,000, which will be given to Down Syndrome of Louisville. 

Harmon was selected from a pool of nominees in the U.S. and is among 1 of 4 finalists in the running to receive this award. This recognition honors the philanthropic ideals and vision of Betty Jane France, the NASCAR Foundation’s late founder, and chairperson. Since its inception, the award has given $1.8 million in donations to charities representing 40 finalists, impacting the lives of 354,647 children in need.

Harmon has a heart for serving individuals with Down Syndrome. He not only works to help his son, Justin, who has Down Syndrome, live his best life but also helps other people with special needs. He uses his favorite hobby, racing, to help raise funds to support Down Syndrome of Louisville and continues to find ways to support the special needs community by building long-lasting relationships with members of DSL and their families.

“Serving people with Down Syndrome brings me great joy in my life,” says Jeff Harmon. “I believe that every person is valuable and should be able to live their very best life and be treated with dignity and respect. Helping people learn new skills makes serving worthwhile.” 

October is recognized for Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the Down Syndrome of Louisville is calling on the community to cast their vote and share the news online to help them win this national grant. The money awarded will help Down Syndrome of Louisville provide Early Education programming across Metro Louisville. 

“We are really excited about Jeff being our nominee for this award. He is one of those dads who always says yes, and that’s the best kind of volunteer you could ask for,” shares Julie Torzewski, Executive Director of Down Syndrome of Louisville. 

“We have to raise a million dollars annually just to continue to offer the services we do now. This type of grant is what allows us to really grow the reach of our mission.” 

To cast a vote – community members can visit www.nascarfoundation.org/award. Individuals can vote every day, once a day until November 12th at noon EST. 

For more information regarding Down Syndrome of Louisville – visit us online at www.dsoflou.org or visit us on social media @DownSyndromeLouisville / @DSLouisville 


About Down Syndrome of Louisville: Down Syndrome of Louisville provides developmental and educational programs for individuals with Down syndrome throughout their entire life span. DSL’s Lifelong Learning Center is the first and only of its kind in the nation.  Program excellence earned DSL the prestigious Gold Certificate of Accreditation from Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action. To learn more, visit https://link.edgepilot.com/s/0a807e7f/Il_O9JlJBEietAcaricj8g?u=http://www.downsyndromeoflouisvile.org/


About NASCAR Foundation: Founded in 2006 by Betty Jane France, the NASCAR Foundation is a leading charity that works to improve the lives of children who need it most. Like Betty Jane France, the NASCAR Foundation believes every child should have a chance at a healthy life and deserves to get across the finish line. To learn more, visit https://link.edgepilot.com/s/8a97bc9a/yhb3vBIfJkiYWIeUV9pCWA?u=http://www.nascarfoundation.org/




Julie Torzewski
Executive Director
Down Syndrome of Louisville


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