Saturday, March 14, 2009

A lucky penny and a beautiful story

If you aren't familiar of Wessa Miller, please get out your tissues. Wessa Miller is a 16 year old girl who lives in Phyllis, KY. In 1998, Wessa, then 6 diagnosed with spina bifida gave Dale Earnhardt Sr a lucky penny when she met him thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation. Affixing the penny to the dashboard himself, Dale Earnhardt won the race that day, his 20th attempt at the Daytona 500.

Through the efforts of the NASCAR Angels television program and working with The NASCAR Foundation, Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), and the Pennies For Wessa Fund, the Miller family will return to Bristol next week. The NASCAR Angels television program has arranged to bring Wessa Miller and her family to Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21 to film her as part of a ‘Heart of NASCAR’ segment to be featured in an upcoming episode.

David Poole covers NASCAR for the Charlotte Observer and hosts "The Morning Drive" weekdays from 7 to 11 a.m. weekdays on Sirius NASCAR Radio. The Pennies For Wessa Fund was started by David in an effort to assist the needs of the Miller family. From Paddock Talk interview: "In working on an anniversary story from Dale Earnhardt's Daytona 500 victory in 1998, something made me wonder how the little girl who gave him his lucky penny before that race was doing 10 years later," said Poole. "What I found was the Wessa Miller and her parents, Booker and Juanita, deal with day-to-day challenges that most of us can't even dream of. The Millers meet those challenges by being a wonderful, loving family with deep faith in God and in each other. As soon as my story was published, people started asking if there was anything they could do to help the Millers, so we set up Pennies for Wessa to provide that opportunity."

If you go to the Pennies for Wessa website, there is an online auction that you can bid on NASCAR signed memorabilia. To read David's touching story about Wessa and her family and the story of that lucky penny click here and here.

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