This October I had the pleasure of meeting Sherry Pollex while visiting Charlotte Motor Speedway. This chat took place during the short meet-and-greet organized by Toyota, basically NASCAR networking at its finest. This chance encounter left me wanting to learn more about this amazing woman. Last week we caught up again, this time by phone, and I found out more about Sherry’s busy schedule and her huge heart.
Sherry is a small business owner, philanthropist and the long time girlfriend of NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. What impressed me most during our first conversation was her commitment to supporting Martin’s career while maintaining her own. This is a near-impossible feat for a lot of women.
“Whether you date a pro athlete or your husband works in an office every day, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me,” Sherry explained. “I just think that, as a woman, it’s important to have your own identity and financial independence. If you asked Martin, I think he would say it’s part of the reason why he loves me.”
In addition to their separate ventures, Sherry and Martin have combined their talents to form an incredible charity – “Catwalk for a Cause” presented by Toyota. Catwalk is an annual fundraiser for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The event is a New York-style runway show with the season’s trendiest fashions showcased by local shops like Lavendar Boutique (Sherry’s store).
For many, the highlight of the show is seeing the patients of Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) strut down the runway to raise money for the great cause close to their heart – the “Martin Truex Jr. Special Needs Fund” created at LCH in 2011.
“We did a lot of research, and we found that a lot of kids have insurance to cover their medical costs, but it won’t cover all the other expenses a family has to incur when their child is sick in the hospital,” Sherry said. “This fund does all of that. We take care of all the parents needs while their children are in the hospital: Gas, travel, lodging, food, airfare, mortgage payments – anything they need so they can be with their child.”
When I asked Sherry how this charity has changed her, she became emotional.
“I’m a true believer that God has a plan for all of us, and I just can’t imagine my life without my foundation,” she confided. “It is just the heart and soul of who I am. It has put life into perspective for Martin and me. We’re so blessed, looking at all the children we’ve been able to help.”
Fortunately for this worthy cause, you don’t need to attend the fashion show to make a difference. NASCAR fans can participate in a live Twitter raffle during the event by donating to MTJF through the Foundation’s Twitter handle (@MTJFoundation). This is where 140 characters or less can help to reveal the character of a true hero at heart.
Want to skip the social media and donate directly at the website? Whether you give a token gift or something more substantial, the generosity goes directly to the children who need it. To get involved, please visit www.martintruexjrfoundation.org.