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


Link to Vote

nascar dsl vote


Tagged Items: grantors

Similar Articles

DSL launches new App!

We are so excited to launch our new app for our families, friends & supporters! Here are some things to know: ANYONE can download the app to learn more about Down Syndrome of Louisville. There is an array of options at the click of a button! WHO CAN LOGIN? Registered DSL Families. This includes parents/guardians, […]

Read More

Meet our 2023 Annual Award Winners…

Joseph O. Thomas Volunteer Award goes to Pam Taylor – For extraordinary volunteer service to Down Syndrome of Louisville. “Pam has been dedicating her time and talents to DSL for many years She unselfishly gives of her time. Her hours devoted behind the scenes would be impossible to add up!” “Pam is always willing to help […]

Read More

DSL Executive Director Named 2023 “Most Admired Woman”

We are thrilled to announce that Julie Torzewski, Executive Director at Down Syndrome of Louisville, has been honored as Today’s Woman Magazine’s “Most Admired Woman” in the category of “Community and Sisterhood”! Julie’s  dedication and passion for advocating for individuals with Down syndrome and their families have made her an inspiring leader. She has transformed […]

Read More

Celebrating Love and Generosity: Tommy and Jennifer Lankswert’s Wedding Donation to Down Syndrome of Louisville

Love has the power to bring people together and inspire acts of kindness. In a heartwarming gesture, Tommy and Jennifer Lankswert recently celebrated their marriage by making a remarkable decision. Instead of asking for traditional wedding gifts, they chose to support a cause close to their hearts: Down Syndrome of Louisville. This selfless act not […]

Read More

Kindness Warriors Training at Amazon Fosters Inclusivity

Recently, Down Syndrome of Louisville visited Amazon to conduct Kindness Warrior Training for some of their SDF9 leaders. The Kindness Warrior training is a unique and inclusive etiquette program aimed at fostering empathy, respect, and kindness. Kindness Warrior Training: Cultivating Empathy and Inclusion Kindness Warrior Training is an innovative program designed to equip individuals from […]

Read More

Embracing Diversity and Empowering Voices: Actors Theatre’s Commitment to Inclusion

In the pursuit of fostering inclusivity and giving voice to underrepresented communities, Actors Theatre of Louisville has taken a significant step by hiring disabled teaching artists to work with a diverse group of students. Among these exceptional individuals are Madeline Franklin and Megan Mudd, who bring their unique perspectives and talents to the forefront, creating […]

Read More

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day with the Lucky Few Tattoo Event

World Down Syndrome Day is a special occasion that brings together communities worldwide to raise awareness, celebrate individuals with Down syndrome, and promote inclusion. At Down Syndrome of Louisville (DSL), we wanted to mark this significant day in a unique and meaningful way- and this year marked the first annual Lucky Few Tattoo event. In […]

Read More

Celebrating Brianna Heitzman: A Champion of Inclusion and Advocate for All

In a world that constantly strives for progress and equality, it is important to recognize individuals who dedicate themselves to advocating for the rights and inclusion of marginalized communities. Down Syndrome of Louisville (DSL) is proud to have an extraordinary employee, Brianna Heitzman, who has recently been honored with the prestigious Jim Chesser Award for […]

Read More

With help of DSL Board Member, Danny Slaton, Kentucky Passes Nondiscrimination Organ Transplant Bill (HB238)

May 1st: The Bill is signed and it’s now official! Thank you Governor Andy Beshear, #TeamKentucky, and Danny Slaton for this HUGE step forward! DSL advocated for this legislation to prevent discrimination based solely on disability in the organ transplantation process for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities should they experience discrimination. Governor Beshear said […]

Read More

Grant Gupton and Macy Knights Honorary Captains at Racing

🎉 We are thrilled to share that two of our own, Grant Gupton and Macy Knights from Down Syndrome of Louisville, were recently named honorary captains for Racing Louisville women’s football team! 🏆 As honorary captains, they were featured on the jumbotron and  given the incredible opportunity to attend the team’s training and experience the […]

Read More

Gary Palmisano, VP of Racing at Churchill Downs, 2023 Gallop Gala Friendship Award Winner

Each year our Friendship Award is presented to an organization or individual who has shown an exceptional level of support for DSL. This year’s recipient doesn’t have a family member with Down syndrome. But he has a can-do attitude, a kind personality, and a big heart, especially for our amazing members. He has been unbelievably […]

Read More

Down Syndrome of Louisville Raises $270,822 at 12th Annual Gallop Gala

Photo by Bill Wine Photography   LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Down Syndrome of Louisville’s (DSL) 12th Annual Gallop Gala commenced Friday night at the Galt House Hotel with $270,822 raised to help support the world’s largest and most advanced regional Down syndrome community that serves 24 counties throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana. The funds raised will benefit DSL’s mission […]

Read More
Translate our Site »