The Washington Area Hyundai Dealers, The Washington Auto Show, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Children's National are teaming up to help fight pediatric cancer through the Hyundai Hands-On Contest at the 2019 Washington Auto Show. A longtime staple of The Washington Auto Show, the Hyundai Hands-On Contest requires hearty contestants to remain in constant contact with a Hyundai vehicle over multiple days (with a few breaks), all with the hope of driving away in a brand-new 2019 Hyundai Kona SEL.
This year's contest is called "Hands on Hope: 50 Hours for $50,000." Contestants will compete for a brand new 2019 Hyundai Kona SEL over the 50-hour contest period. What is new about the contest in 2019 is that this year's six contestants will be selected from a pool of employees from Georgetown Lombardi and Children's National– three contestants will form "Team Georgetown Lombardi" and three will form "Team Children's National." As part of this contest, the institute where the winning contestant works will receive a $50,000 research grant to move us ever closer to a cure for pediatric cancer.
The announcement of the new program was made today by Washington Auto Show President and CEO John O'Donnell and Kevin Reilly, owner of Alexandria Hyundai, and representative of the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers.
"The Hyundai Hands-On Contest has long been a hallmark event at our show," O'Donnell said. "We are proud to be able to use this competition to showcase the important work that our local medical centers do to help the most vulnerable among us in their greatest time of need."
"Hyundai has a long history of supporting the fight against pediatric cancer and now the Hyundai Hands- On contest will contribute to that fight, benefiting two innovators in this field, Georgetown Lombardi and Children's National," Reilly said. "The Washington Area Hyundai dealers are proud to support the this great work, and excited that one of their employees will drive away in a brand-new 2019 Hyundai Kona SEL."
Contestants will still be required to remain in contact with the Hyundai Kona at all times during the 50- hour long competition, with only 15-minute breaks every three hours. The contest winner will receive a brand-new 2019 Hyundai Kona, one of the hottest CUVs on the market (and winner of the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year) from the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers.
If more than one person is still in contact with the vehicle at the end of the 50 hours, all remaining contestants will select a Hyundai key from a bowl. One of the keys will start the vehicle and the contestant with that key will win both the Hyundai Kona for themselves, and the $50,000 pediatric cancer research grant for their medical center. The institute that does not have the winning employee on their team will receive a pediatric cancer research grant for $25,000. Auto Show attendees will be able to observe the contest while it is ongoing during public show hours, as in past years.
"In addition to awarding a brand new Hyundai Kona to the contest winner, as well as awarding $60,000 in pediatric research grants collectively to local researchers, the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers look to bring awareness to the need to increase funding for pediatric cancer research," Reilly said.
Hyundai dealers in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as throughout the United States, support Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Hyundai Hope on Wheels is one of the largest non-profit funders of pediatric cancer research in the country, and primary funding for Hyundai Hope on Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 835 U.S. dealers, including the 19 Hyundai dealers that comprise the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers.
To date, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has provided over $3 million in grants collectively to Children's National and Georgetown Lombardi (over $1.6 million in grants to Children's National and over $1.4 million in grants to Georgetown Lombardi). Since its inception in 1998, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has contributed over $145 million to the fight against pediatric cancer.
"Hyundai Hope On Wheels has fueled some of the most promising cancer research projects underway at Children's National," said Jeffrey Dome, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's National. "We are grateful to Hyundai Hope on Wheels — and all of the dealerships here and around the country — for their partnership and generous support for research in pediatric oncology."
Jeffery Toretsky, MD, a pediatric oncologist and researcher at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and past recipient of grant funding from Hyundai says such awards allow him and his lab to be more imaginative, even if approaches fail.
"If we, pediatric oncologists, don't aggressively go after novel approaches to creating drugs that are most important for targeting childhood cancer, nobody will. Our work targeting the 'undruggable' has led to a current clinical trial in Ewing sarcoma. Hyundai Hope on Wheels has provided resources for my team to search outside the box in order to achieve new ways to treat cancer in both children and young adults," Toretsky said.
The Washington Auto Show takes place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, Washington, D.C.