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Hyundai pledges more than $10 million to fight childhood cancer

The Costa Mesa-based automaker will be a key player during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

by Gabriel CortesPublished: September 05, 2012 07:55 AM

Over the weekend, the University of California, Irvine campus hosted a five-kilometer charity run as part of Hyundai Motor America’s Hope On Wheels campaign, an initiative aimed at funding pediatric cancer research. It is the first in a series of events that the Hope On Wheels program has scheduled for the month of September, which has been designated National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. A second five-kilometer race will take place in Chicago on Sept. 9, and the third and final race will be held in Miami on Sept. 29.

All proceeds from Saturday’s event benefited CHOC Children’s Hospital. In May of last year, Hyundai pledged $10 million to create the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC.  The donation stands as the largest corporate gift in the hospital’s history.

This year, the Hope On Wheels campaign plans to donate more than $10.25 million in grants to children’s hospitals across the country. Known as the Hyundai Hope Grants, the awards, which amount to $250,000 each, will be presented to 41 principal researchers. There are more than 300 research projects currently in process that are funded by the Hope On Wheels grants.

The automaker will also join Texas Congressman Michael McCaul on September 20 for the 3rd Annual Childhood Cancer Summit on Capitol Hill. The goal of the summit is to review current childhood cancer legislation and explore new areas where more action can be taken.

“In the 14 years we've been a part of this fight to help children fight cancer, we've seen significant advancements in treatments,” said Gary Micallef, chairman of the Hyundai Hope On Wheels Board of Directors. “We hope our efforts in September can bring greater awareness for this cause and increase the amount of funds we can provide researchers.”

Hyundai Motor America, whose headquarters is in Costa Mesa, began the Hope On Wheels program in 1998, and has since committed more than $57 million to the battle against childhood cancer.

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