– Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) has joined the effort of finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes by partnering with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in raising funds and awareness through its NHRA Funny Car program.

– Starting June 1, JDRF children have the chance to design the paint scheme of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Nitro Funny Car, driven by Bob Tasca III, that will race in the NHRA Nationals in Concord, NC, later this year.

DEARBORN, Mich., May 14, 2009 – For the second consecutive year, Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) will join forces with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help raise funds and awareness for the disease through multiple initiatives within its NHRA Funny Car sponsorship program.

To kick off this partnership, JDRF children have one month to submit a design for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Mustang Funny Car, driven by Bob Tasca III, to be featured on the car during the NHRA Nationals later this season.

“We’re very excited to partner with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation again this season,” said Darryl Hazel, Ford Customer Service Division President. “This is a great program to raise awareness for a disease that affects so many children. We are delighted to support such a worthy cause and to have the JDRF children participate in our program.”

For the car design contest, each submitted design will be featured on from July 1 to August 14. During that time, the public is invited to vote for their favorite car design by making a monetary donation to JDRF. The top five donation-earning designs will then be narrowed down to one, which will be featured on Tasca’s Shelby Mustang during the NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina September 18-20, 2009.

The winning child and his or her parents will be invited to Charlotte for an official unveiling of their paint scheme with FCSD and Tasca, and will have a chance to see their design run during qualifications for the race.

“We’re tying the unveiling in this year with the grand opening of our race shop, which is a huge event for our program,” says Motorcraft/Quick Lane Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III. “To have the opening of the shop, unveil the winning JDRF themed Mustang Shelby and then race it on one of the biggest races of the year, is going to be really exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing the designs, voting and meeting the kids. Ultimately, I’m just honored and humbled to drive the winning design.”

Last year’s winner was Samuel Millard, a six-year-old resident of Greenville, Texas, and member of the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Millard and his family were special guests at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis where his design appeared on Tasca’s Ford Shelby Mustang Nitro Funny Car. Last year’s contest drew 306 designs and help raise awareness and more than $84,000 for JDRF.

In addition to the car design contest, FCSD and Tasca Racing will host local JDRF kids and their parents at five races this summer.

“JDRF is extremely excited to be partnering with FCSD again this year. The chance to design the FCSD-sponsored Funny Car is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for these kids, and an exciting way to help collect donations for JDRF,” said Gina Roche-Kelly, senior account manager, International Development Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Ford Global Walk Team.

Diabetes affects more Ford families than any other disease. Ford Motor Company has raised more than $23 million for JDRF since the grassroots campaign started in 1998.

About Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is a disease, which strikes children suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.16 billion to diabetes research, including more than $156 million in FY2008, bringing the cumulative total of research funding to more than $1.3 billion. In FY2008, the Foundation funded 1,000 centers, grants and fellowships in 22 countries.

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