Hyundai Motor America representatives pose with cancer-surviving children and unnamed representatives of four institutions that each received a $100,000 grant. / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group
By Kwaak Je-yup
Hyundai Motor Group’s efforts to help combat children’s cancer have been recognized by the U.S. Congress.
According to Hyundai officials, a press conference was held at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center to underscore the achievements of Hope on Wheels, a nonprofit organization of Hyundai Motor America, the Korean carmaker’s U.S. subsidiary.
On hand for the event, held as part of National Child Cancer Awareness Month, were dealers, recipients and members of U.S. Congress’s 77-member Child Cancer Caucus.
Representatives Georgetown University Hospital; Johns Hopkins Hospital; Inova Fairfax and the Children’s National Medical Center were present to receive grants of $100,000.
They were among 71 grant recipients with each receiving $100,000. The total was the largest annual September grant for the program that was started 13 years ago by Hyundai Motor America and supported by its 800 dealers.
Previously in May, it established the Hyundai Cancer Institute at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California with a $10-million donation
“This event showed the United States that a Korean company is doing its part in social responsibility,” said Hyundai’s representative. “We expect this effort will improve not only our brand’s image (in the States) but Korea’s as well.”
In its news release Hyundai quoted Dr. Aziza Shad, chief of the Division of pediatric hematology/oncology at Georgetown University Hospital saying, "It's an honor to be a recipient of the Hope on Wheels programs.
"The grant dollars received are imperative to our continued research on pediatric cancer. Without this kind of commitment, initiatives like our 'Cooking for Cancer' program could not have been as successful as they are today. It's remarkable that an auto company like Hyundai is committing so much to this issue."
Hyundai Hope on Wheels Chairman Oscar Leeser was quoted as saying, "We are proud to have supported pediatric cancer research for the past 13 years. We are committed to finding cures so that children's lives are no longer impacted by this dreaded disease." Leeser, also an El Paso Hyundai dealer concluded, "As dealers, we applaud the hard work of the winning hospitals and look forward to the day that this disease no longer takes the lives of our young children."
The Hope on Wheels program collects donations from its 800-strong U.S.-based dealers, at $14 per new-car sale and Hyundai subsidiary’s voluntary contributions.
The Hope on Wheels staff were joined by the caucus’ co-chairs Rep. Michael MacCaul from Texas and Rep. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland among others.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the No. 1 cause of death through disease among U.S. children 1 to 14 years of age; still incidence is rare in the age group, with one to two children out of every 10,000 developing the disease. Definite causes are yet to be mapped out.