In addition to its long history of building vehicles, Hyundai has long supported the fight against pediatric cancer. Hyundai Hope on Wheels is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to find a cure for pediatric cancer, and the automaker says Hope on Wheels is one of the largest non-profit funders of pediatric cancer research in the country.
Primary funding for the program comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 835 U.S. dealers, along with the 19 Hyundai dealers that comprise the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers.
On Monday, Hyundai announced a continuation of that effort, as a program with its latest Hyundai Hands-On contest will take place in April at the 2019 Washington Auto Show.
The Washington Auto Show, The Washington Area Hyundai Dealers, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Children’s National will work together in putting on the Hyundai Hands-On Contest. Hyundai describes the contest as a “longtime staple of The Washington Auto Show,” and it requires contestants to remain in constant contact with a Hyundai vehicle over multiple days (with a few breaks).
The winner of this year’s contest, which is titled, “Hands on Hope: 50 Hours for $50,000,” will drive away in a new 2019 Hyundai Kona SEL.
Contestants will compete over a 50-hour contest period. A new feature of this year’s contest is that the six contestants will include employees from Georgetown Lombardi and Children’s National. The institute where the contest’s winning contestant works will receive a $50,000 grant for research toward finding a cure for pediatric cancer.
“The Hyundai Hands-On Contest has long been a hallmark event at our show,” Washington Auto Show president and chief executive officer John O'Donnell said in a news release. "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."
‘The Washington Area Hyundai dealers are proud to support this great work, and excited that one of their employees will drive away in a brand-new 2019 Hyundai Kona SEL,” Kevin Reilly, owner of Alexandria Hyundai and representative of the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers, said in a news release.
With only 15-minute breaks every three hours, contestants must remain in contact with the Hyundai Kona at all times during the 50-hour competition. The winner will receive a new 2019 Hyundai Kona CUV from the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers.
At the end of the 50 hours, if more than one contestant is still in contact with the vehicle, the remaining contestants will select a Hyundai key from a bowl. The contestant with the one key that starts the vehicle will win the Hyundai Kona for him or herself, along with the $50,000 pediatric cancer research grant for his or her medical center. The institute that does not have the winning employee on its team will receive a pediatric cancer research grant for $10,000.
As in past years, Auto Show attendees will be able to observe the contest during public show hours.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels has provided more than $1.6 million in grants to Children’s National and more than $1.4 million in grants to Georgetown Lombardi. Hyundai Hope on Wheels has contributed more than $145 million to the fight against pediatric cancer since its inception in 1998.
“Hyundai Hope On Wheels has fueled some of the most promising cancer research projects underway at Children’s National,” Children’s National Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders vice president Jeffrey Dome said in a news release. "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."
Such awards allow Jeffery Toretsky, a pediatric oncologist and researcher at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and past recipient of grant funding, to be more imaginative, even if approaches fail, he said in a news release.
“If we, pediatric oncologists, don’t aggressively go after novel approaches to creating drugs that are most important for targeting childhood cancer, nobody will,” Toretsky said. “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.”