'Title Pros' Go the Extra Mile for Charity

I stopped at a souvenir vendor under the Nextel Tower grandstand yesterday afternoon. I was "window shopping" more than anything else, but found some stuff I just had to have for my kids.

Sisters Niki, left, and Brittany Humphrey volunteer at Daytona for "Relay for Life.". (Mike Snyder - washingtonpost.com)

As I completed the transaction, the clerk, Brittany Humphrey, thanked me for helping out the "Relay for Life." That struck me as odd. I asked her what she meant, was there some portion of profits going to charity.

Not exactly, but she was there at the booth volunteering. Now my curiosity was piqued. What exactly is volunteering at a souvenir stand at Daytona all about? I'm glad I asked.

Brittany and her sister Niki are volunteers for "Relay for Life," all-night, candlelight walks - usually on a school track or in a gym -- that benefit the American Cancer Society. Brittany says she started volunteering when she went to college at Western Carolina University seven years ago. Niki started a year later.

They grew up a short drive south of Daytona in Titusville, Fla., but now they live in Daytona Beach.

Brittany says she's motivated by the fact that "a lot of cancer runs in my family and it's self-fulfilling to do something."

Now here's the Daytona 500 connection: Niki works for Jennifer Dedow for a title company in Daytona Beach called Professional Title. Jennifer also runs grandstand concession and merchandise booths at the speedway. Jennifer says she's been working at the track during Speedweeks for 20 years, the last 12 in the Nextel Tower booth.

For the past three years, Jennifer has made a deal with her title company employees: Come work at the booths at the track hawking souvenirs and such, and she'll donate all of the wages to the "Relay for Life" held each April by the Southeast Volusia County chapter of the American Cancer Society. They've dubbed their volunteer group "the Title Pros."

Although Brittany doesn't work there, she's part of a family package. The sisters' day to work was yesterday. They'll be in the infield for the races over the weekend (I'm hoping to catch up to them there), while other co-workers of Niki man the booths.

Last year their volunteer group raised $15,000 through the Speedweeks volunteering and other fundraisers like garage sales and sponsorships. This year's goal is $20,000.

I'd say these Title Pros have gone the extra mile to find creative ways to raise funds for charity. Brilliant!

By Mike Snyder |  February 17, 2006; 9:36 AM ET  | Category:  Daytona Scene , Miscellaneous
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