Bass Pro Shops today announced a $1 million donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp that will be built in Wyandotte County.
The Victory Junction Gang will designate the marina at the Kansas City camp the Bass Pro Shops Catch, Kiss and Release Marina, the same name as the seven-acre fishing facility at the original camp in Randleman, N.C.
NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and his wife, Pattie, formally announced they have selected a 71-acre site at 8205 Riverview Road donated by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County for a facility similar to the one they opened in 2004 in North Carolina that helps children with serious illnesses or chronic medical conditions.
The camp honors their son, Adam Petty, a NASCAR driver who died in a crash in 2000.
The donation by the Springfield, Mo., based-Bass Pro Shops brought the total raised to $5 million toward the $35 million project. Those who want to donate to the camp, which is free to the children, or serve as volunteers when it opens sometime in 2010, can go to VictoryJunction.org.
In response to the $1 million pledged by the Tony Stewart Foundation's fund-raising effort in June with a race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Bass Pro Shops decided to match that offer.
"Victory Junction is blessed to have the continued support and a generous $1 million donation from Bass Pro Shops," said Pattie Petty. "Since we opened in 2004, (Bass Pro Shops founder) Johnny Morris and his entire organization have been a steward of our cause and placed thousands of smiles on our children's faces. They are true ambassadors for this mission and role models within the philanthropic world."
Bass Pro Shops has pledged more than $150,000 and donated equipment to offer special needs children the opportunity to fish for the first time, and donated several boats for the pleasure and use of Victory Junction campers at the North Carolina facility. During each week of summer session, a specialized technician from Bass Pro Shops visits camp to provide fishing tutorials and maintains the fishing equipment on site.
In 2007, more than 845 fish were caught and kissed at The Bass Pro Shops Catch, Kiss and Release Marina in Randleman.
"All of us at Bass Pro Shops have tremendous admiration for the Pettys and the good things they have done through their Victory Junction and also Tony with all the organizations he has helped through the Tony Stewart Foundation," Morris said. "We are especially proud to help bring such a wonderful facility to the Kansas City area that will benefit so many kids from our home state of Missouri and surrounding states."
Stewart said: "Johnny Morris and everyone at Bass Pro Shops have been huge supporters of Victory Junction. The Petty's first camp in Randleman was built in honor of their late son Adam, and his dream and vision will now be extended to even more kids in Kansas City. Bass Pro Shops has done so much to help Victory Junction and the kids who attend camp. I'm extremely proud of their efforts."
As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous donors to provide this experience free of charge to children and families.
To reach Randy Covitz, sports reporter for The Star, call 816-234-4796 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org