Press Release 04/01/2015
For Immediate Release
John MacDonald, former co-owner of Bad Influence Hydroplane Racing Team officially announced today that the decision to end his partnership with Mike Grendell on amicable terms was at the hands of his and his wife Charlene’s philanthropy efforts. The MacDonald’s and the Grendell’s have enjoyed nearly 4 years of what they all feel has been a successful team partnership which grew into a friendship. Currently on the table is an offer to move from that partnership position with Bad Influence to a sponsorship program with Bad Influence’s 2.5 Hydroplane. Acceptance of the offer is currently being weighed by Mr. Grendell.
Philanthropists John and Charlene MacDonald have a natural love for helping others through their own hard work and efforts. The MacDonald’s trust foundation, which distributes funds on a semi-annual basis, along with their two scholarship programs, has contributed over a million dollars of financial assistance to others. Through their co-ownership along with Steve and Kiers Rowley in Heartland Energy Group, LTD, a worldwide green chemical company serving the oil and gas industry, they have assisted the cancer research foundation H8 Cancer in generating over $75,000 in funding for cancer research in less than a year. The MacDonald’s have always been active in promoting awareness and in fundraising efforts for cancer research, however, with their business partner’s wife and dear friend Kiers Rowley being a 6 year survivor of stage 4 lung cancer and still struggling with the disease they have made the decision to focus their efforts in support of the research lead by Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth (Dr. Jag), DO of Tulsa OK’s Cancer Centers of America. Both Dr. Jag and Kiers had some words of their own to share about Team H8 Racing and the battle being waged against cancer:
"Cancer is no respecter of persons and it is truly the emperor of all maladies! We abhor this disease with a passion as we have lost too many of our friends and loved ones to this hated disease. The H8 Cancer Foundation (H8CF) is honored and proud to be represented by Team H8 Racing through the philanthropic efforts of John and Charlene MacDonald. While great strides are being made to better understand cancer, much more needs to be done to find innovative solutions faster and more efficiently so more lives can be saved and that many others may live with a better quality of life while surviving with this dreadful disease. The drive and passion demonstrated by Team H8 Racing, is in complete alignment with the drive and passion that we have to end this deadly disease. We are very proud that Team H8 Racing is breaking down the barriers and stigmata associated with cancer." –Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth
“Thank you for joining us in the race against cancer! I am blessed to be involved in this year's race season as part of Team H8 Racing! It's amazing to see the momentum within the H8 Cancer Foundation with Team H8 Racing! In just under a year, we've witnessed a grass roots effort from the Midwest expand to reach the entire East Coast and well up into Canada! It's truly exciting and inspiring to be surrounded by so many people who are willing to fight and fund this cause alongside us! We are honored to be partnered with our dear friends, John & Charlene MacDonald, who have spearheaded Team H8 Racing. Their support 'in and out of the boat' has been invaluable to the cause, but mostly to our family. As a stage IV cancer survivor of nearly seven years, I have had the privilege and opportunity to watch and personally be treated by medical advancements that new research has provided. We need to find a cure for cancer...ALL CANCER! These boats are fast, but we must move faster against this disease that affects us all. H8 Cancer Foundation has joined a new revolution in cancer research. Rather than studying drugs for the masses, that may or may not ever be approved by the FDA, we choose to instead search out the n=1! We believe in studying the DNA and molecular structures of cancer. Let's study the cases where lost causes have outlived their diagnosis and find out why? Treating patients with knowledge and research from these findings yields a much higher rate of success in curing cancer! I have personally benefitted from drugs and treatments created by this same research process. Drugs that were once only used for pancreatic and breast cancer are now being used in lung cancer and as a result people are living longer! My 6 month survival prognosis has now been nearly 7 years! These innovative drugs and treatments have prolonged my life and allowed me to watch my children grow. As I continue to fight off this monster of a disease, I ask you to join us and support H8 Cancer through your prayers, time, and of course your funds! Thank you for supporting Team H8 Racing! As a friend, a wife, a mother, and a fighting SURVIVOR...thank you! "Let us run with perseverance the race set before us!" - Hebrews 12:1. Let's finish the race!” – Kiers Rowley
Both Kiers’ tenacity to fight this criminal disease we call cancer and Dr. Jag’s passion to find a cure have lead to the formation of Team H8 Racing. This will be the very first hydroplane boat racing team to join in the efforts to bring cancer awareness and research funding straight to the finish line. Initially, the thought was of a single hydroplane in the H350 class but within less than a week of forming Team H8 Racing they were being courted to join forces with other race teams. It was initially a tough decision since EMS, the MacDonald’s parent company, had already signed a sponsorship agreement with Team Steeler‘s Grand Prix Hydroplane for the 2015 season. However, after careful consideration, the decision to complete Team H8 Racing became clear and the MacDonald’s made the obvious choice of joining forces to fight cancer with Brandon Kennedy and Shameless Racing. The MacDonald’s are proud to announce that Brandon Kennedy will be driving his Grand Prix Hydroplane (GP 25) as the new Team H8 Racing GP 25 and his soon-to-be wife Karson King will be driving Shameless’ former 2.5 Hydroplane (S25) as the new Team H8 Racing S25. This is coupled with Derec Smith driving the H350 (H13) and Dave Binion managing the team’s efforts. The Kennedy Family too is no stranger to this horrible disease, Brandon Kennedy’s grandfather is a prostate cancer survivor and his fiancée’s mother is a breast cancer survivor. Brandon, his fiancée Karson King, and the rest of the team were eager to share their thoughts on the partnership as well:
“It is an honor to have this opportunity to form a partnership with the MacDonald’s and Team H8 Racing. It will be awesome to be racing for cancer awareness, as it is a monstrous disease that hits close to home. I am excited to make my debut in the 2.5 class, and can’t wait to see what this season has in store for Team H8 Racing.” - Karson King
"I am proud to partner with Team H8 Racing for the 2015 season. Racing is fun and exciting, but to be able to do what I love and get the word out about the H8 Cancer Foundation makes the racing more meaningful. I can’t thank John and Charlene enough for this opportunity. We have assembled a great team, and together we will bring cancer awareness to the front of the pack.” - Brandon Kennedy
“I previously drove for the MacDonald’s and the Grendell’s as part of the Bad Influence Race Team. This year, as word got out of the team changing direction, John asked me to be a part of this new venture, Team H8 Racing. I was honored and excited to hear we would be teaming up with another great family, the Kennedy’s, to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. I will be driving the same boat but will be bringing back my old number H13 and we will be painting all of the boats green, blue, and silver. I can’t wait to see how they look all lined up together. This is shaping up to be a great year with a lot of great friends motivated by an even greater cause.” – Derec Smith
Team manager, Dave Binion, also had some heartfelt words to share, “I am so proud to be a part of Team H8 racing, as I too have had family members affected by this dreadful disease. My mother passed away from kidney cancer at the age of 61 and my father lost his battle with prostate cancer four years ago. I am looking forward to working with Derec and Brandon and everyone involved with Team H8 Racing (H13, GP25, and S25) to help find a cure for cancer.
With such a great team coming together to fight this disease that has affected the lives of so many maybe this will finally be the year we bring cancer research straight to the finish line.