Tag:Gary Sinise
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 8:55 pm

Martinsville names Gary Sinise grand marshal

Posted by Pete Pistone

Martinsville Speedway announced that award-winning actor Gary Sinise will serve as the grand marshal for the April 1 running of the Goody's Fast
Relief 500.

The track also announced local hero and wounded veteran Marine Cpl. Josh “J.B.” Kerns will wave the green flag to start the 500-lap event. 

Sinise, currently starring on CBS’ “CSI:NY,” launched the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, a non-profit organization that honors defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.

Recently, the Gary Sinise Foundation and The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (named after a fallen firefighter on 9/11), announced a partnership to build Kerns a “smart home” in his hometown of Ararat, Va., as part of the Building For America's Bravest Program. Throughout the April race weekend efforts will be underway to raise funds and awareness, including a concert with Sinise's Lt. Dan Band at Martinsville High School on March 31.

“When I was growing up I remember sitting down with my family on the weekends and watching the NASCAR races,” said Kerns. “And now, it’s awesome to think that I am going to be the one waving the flag that’s going to start the race.”

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:58 pm

Actor Gary Sinise to play Martinsville concert

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise is going to make sure Cpl. J.B. Kerns’ dream of a log cabin on the Ararat River becomes a reality.

Sinise announced today that the Gary Sinise Foundation and The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (named after the NY firefighter who perished on 9/11), are partnering as part of their Building For America’s Bravest program to build a “smart home” for Kerns that will allow him to live independently. 

Kerns lost both legs and his right arm last April as a result of a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) while on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. The heroic Marine, who’s had to undergo dozens of surgeries, is from Ararat—a small, rural town in Patrick County, about 30 miles from Martinsville Speedway.

The fundraising centerpiece for the project will be a concert performed by Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band at Martinsville High School on Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m, and 100% of the ticket sales will go toward funding the specially-equipped smart home for Kerns. The next day, at the running of the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Sinise and Kerns will play a special role in the Speedway’s pre-race program.

General admission to the Martinsville concert will be $25. There will also be a limited number of VIP passes available, which include a ticket to the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 and a Sunday morning meet-and-greet with Sinise at Martinsville Speedway.

Tickets will be sold by the Piedmont Arts Association in Martinsville and will go on sale Friday, Feb. 10. They may be purchased online at www.piedmontarts.org or by calling (276) 632-3221. To make donations to Building For America’s Bravest Program, you can go to http://www.garysinisefoundation.org
  or  https://tunneltotowersfoundation.or

Sinise, nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Lt. Dan—the character who lost both legs in battle in “Forrest Gump”—and the star of CBS’ popular “CSI: New York,” is also an accomplished musician.   He formed the Lt. Dan Band in 2004 primarily for USO Tours, and now performs 30 to 40 concerts a year to entertain troops and families, to raise funds for charitable efforts to help wounded warriors and families of the fallen, and to support charities devoted to the same.

Said Kerns, "I am overwhelmed at the support my community has given me. I have loved auto racing and NASCAR my whole life, and the fact that Martinsville Speedway, a star like Gary Sinise, and a foundation named after a 9/11 hero fireman, have come together so that I can have a home that is going to give me a good life, is awesome."

“It is my honor to partner with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to raise the necessary funds to support the building of a home for JB Kerns,” said Sinise.  “JB has given so much in service to his country, and it is a privilege to do what I can to give something back to him. I hope that the entire community will join me and my band to help show our support and our gratitude to a great American hero, JB Kerns, the night of March 31.  As our 30th president Calvin Coolidge said, ‘The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.’ Let's come together to honor this brave American, and show him that we will not forget what he has sacrificed in defense of our freedom.”

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