Schmidt to be honored by Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Firestone Indy Lights team owner Sam Schmidt will receive the 2008 Visionary Leadership Award from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Dec. 2 at the Making Magic Happen Gala in Los Angeles.
Schmidt will be recognized for his outstanding professional and philanthropic leadership and will be joined by actress Jane Seymour, who will receive the 2008 Philanthropy Award.
"I am so touched and honored by this recognition from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation," said Schmidt, founder of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. "Not only was Chris a friend, but he inspired me and so many others to pull through challenging times and move forward with my life."
Schmidt founded the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation shortly after a practice crash left him with a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the chest down. He has taken the passion and commitment that made him a competitive race car driver and has focused that energy on creating a broader awareness of spinal cord injuries.
"Sam has demonstrated extraordinary generosity of time, talent and resources, and his efforts have touched many people," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "This award is presented with gratitude to Sam for his enthusiastic dedication, loyal support and inspirational example."
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation have worked together for several years to fund cutting-edge research to find more effective treatments for spinal cord injuries.
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