U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Matt “Mohawk” Denny, his wife, Lindy Denny, and Colin Garrett Racing are partnering in support of Garrett’s 11/11 Veteran Project, a crowdfunded organization poised to offer veterans a platform to promote available resources and support for building and maintaining personal success.
This ‘Be Awesome’ campaign of the 11/11 Veteran Project raises awareness for veteran mental health issues and veteran’s entrepreneurship initiatives. Still in its infancy, the 11/11 Veteran Project will depend on ongoing charitable contributions and sponsorship from people and organizations who support the veteran community via www.11-11vets.com.
“We are launching a crowdfunding campaign, called ‘Be Awesome,’ to get us on the road and as we raise funds with Garrett Racing across the country, and share the stories of veterans and military spouses on topics like suicide prevention, transition stories, veteran entrepreneurship, and more,” said Matt.
Matt’s drive to help veterans stems from his own healing experiences while a patient at Wounded Warrior Regiment in Balboa Naval Hospital.
“It was at this moment I realized I can give a voice to those who are quiet, silent, or don’t have one, which took away all my pain and suffering and gave me a purpose to not only live on but thrive so that others could be heard,” said Matt.
More recently, Matt’s online presence resonated with veterans and Department of Defense professionals. “I simply reminded people to ‘Be Awesome’ and it seemed to gain traction,” said Matt.
‘Be Awesome’ has become the Denny’s life mantra, followed by the phrase ‘be the reason someone has an awesome day.’ The mantra gained followership on social media channels during the past two years and filled a void. By humanizing resources and organizations that give access to resources, Matt’s approach focused on people and he gave them support to reach their best potential.
“Awesome isn’t a gimmicky word to us and will forever be a part of our family,” said Matt as he referred to his late sister-in-law’s positivity during her battle with cancer as his inspiration. “Ginger started an I Am Awesome Challenge. When she ordered take out, she gave the pick up name of “I am awesome.” When they called out the order, she would cheer and state “You Are Awesome.”
The first step of Denny’s partnership with Garrett Racing entails launching a fundraising campaign to buy and convert a school bus or a Recreational Vehicle that will allow the couple to travel the country while connecting with veteran service organizations, veteran-owned businesses, and promoting mental health resources for veterans.
“The world could use a little more awesome these days,” Lindy said. “Looking back as a Marine wife, I remember often feeling inadequate in the new challenges our relationship was facing, where could I go for support? Either for myself or for Matt,” she said before ending with her excitement about the future. “It’s why I am excited to work with organizations like The Rosie Network, Racing for Heroes and others supporting spouses and veterans alike.”
To learn more about the 11/11 Veteran Project and learn more about how you can support, please visit 11-11vets.com. To stay connected with Matt and Lindy, follow them on social media at @mohawkmattdenny or via mohawkmattdenny.com. To connect with Colin Garrett, follow him on social media at @colingarrettweb or go to colingarrettracing.com.
Colin Garrett is back in the No. 26 Toyota Supra this weekend at Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola.
Daytona has been in Garrett’s sights since he missed the season opener in 2020 by .01 seconds — a disappointment felt by the whole team that year.
This year, however, Garrett is hitting the track under the Stillhouse colors and with his “Access Saves Lives” initiative backed by The 11/11 Veteran Project.
The “Access Saves Lives” initiative was first seen publicly last week at Michigan International Speedway, where Colin started P29, battled it out in the top 15, and then placed P20 due to some late restarts in the New Holland 250.
The idea of championing access isn’t new for Colin, as he has been partnering with The Rosie Network and Racing for Heroes for several years to help veterans receive better access to healthcare and mental health resources.
One of his sponsors for the last two races also understands the idea of accessibility very well. Hoby Wedler of Hoby’s Essentials was born blind, but that’s never stopped him from achieving his goals and living a normal life. In fact, Wedler is a PhD chemist and entrepreneur recognized by Forbes on their 30 Under 30 list, named a Champion of Change by President Obama, and most recently selected by Wine Enthusiast as a 40 Under 40 Tastemaker for 2021.
“I was born blind and I know what it’s like to be blind in a sighted world. My business endeavors strive to provide true accessibility and inclusivity for everyone. That’s why we plan to include Braille labels on all Hoby’s Essentials products and be the only seasonings brand in the world with Braille labels on their products,” Hoby explained.
For the second week in a row, the No. 26 Supra will hit the track with Braille in its paint scheme, and Wedler and Garrett will continue their mission to raise awareness for accessibility for all.
A special race where Colin honored his grandfather, disabled US Army veteran Roy Kaywood, and piloted the first NASCAR ride with a Braille paint scheme and blind-owned sponsor ended with a wild triple overtime finish.
With no qualifying, Garrett’s No26 Springfield Distillery Toyota Supra started the race at P29 based on team points and finished P20. Team owner Sam Hunt said, “Triple overtime did us no favors, but I’m proud of the effort this team and driver had all race long. We ended up 20th after battling in the top-15 throughout the final stage with top ten lap times. Now we’re looking for more with Colin Garrett at Daytona International Speedway this Friday night under the lights!”
Garrett made NASCAR history again by being the first NASCAR driver to run a Braille paint scheme and have a blind-owned sponsor. In the past he’s been the first to crowdfund an Xfinity Series car and pay for stem cell treatments for a veteran with MS, first to let micro businesses be part of a national NASCAR campaign, and had the first Black-owned, Service Disabled Veteran-owned NASCAR sponsor.
Colin Garrett is piloting the No. 26 Toyota Supra with Sam Hunt Racing on August 21 at Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series New Holland 250.
After placing 15th in the Xfinity Series in a rain-shortened race at Talladega back in May, he is looking forward to being back on a track.
What’s different about this race? Well, for Garrett, it’s a homecoming of sorts and the start of a new initiative.
“All of my grandparents and my parents are from Michigan. I’ve had family in the Jackson area since before the Civil War, so it’s pretty cool to be racing up here this week.” Garrett said. “It’s also great to have a local Halifax, VA company, Springfield Distillery, on board.”
Springfield Distillery has partnered with Colin for several races this season and is an avid supporter of his 11/11 Veteran Project.
“We will be starting a label in honor of those who have served our country under the 11/11 logo as a reminder to give thanks and support service members and families,” owner Kelly Gordon shared.
The 11/11 Veteran Project has served as a way to expand access for the free services of nonprofits The Rosie Network and Racing for Heroes. Now, with a host of additional partners, the idea of accessibility is expanding even further.
Access needs vary and can apply to everything in life; nutrition, clothing, education, training, funding, health care, and housing – just to name a few.
As one way to continue championing accessibility, Garrett has partnered with Dr. Hoby Wedler to bring the first race car with braille in its interior and exterior paint schemes to the MIS track this weekend.
Dr. Hoby Wedler was born blind and is the founder of Hoby’s Collective. His parents’ access to services for parents of blind children helped them raise him with the same expectations they had of his brother. This set the stage for Wedler to become a PhD chemist and entrepreneur, be listed in Forbes 30 Under 30, and be named a Champion of Change by President Obama.
“My business endeavors strive to provide true accessibility and inclusivity for everyone,” Hoby shared.
“Mindset is everything,” he continued. “If you are happy and believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to. Abundance mindset, positivity, and passion give us the power to do literally anything we want in the world.”
Hoby is demonstrating this through his partnership with Colin for the New Holland 250 and for the race at Daytona next week as well.
Another of Colin’s sponsors, Lisa Kipps-Brown, also knows the importance of access to education, services, and information.
Lisa Kipps-Brown is the author of Disrupt Your Now: The Successful Entrepreneur’s Guide to Reimagining Your Business and Life. Her father was blind and born into dire poverty, but access to a strong education at Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind enabled him to live a full life as a professional musician, business owner, father, and homeowner with hobbies such as woodworking and horseback riding.
“Daddy’s access to education and training helped him lead me and my sisters by example, teaching us to never accept labels and the limits that accompany them,” she said.
Kipps-Brown and Wedler happened to meet on Clubhouse this past winter, leading them to multiple collaborations to help clients, other entrepreneurs, and the blind community.
In addition, partner accessiBe will also be featured on Garrett’s car for the August 21 race. Aiding those with cognitive and physical impairments or disorders that prevent them from fully accessing the Internet, accessiBe is the number one automated web accessibility solution for ADA and WCAG compliance.
Through these programs and partners, Garrett’s “Access Saves Lives” initiative is off to a great start as he hits the Michigan International Speedway track. You can find out more information on how to get involved at www.accesssaveslives.com.
And to see Colin in action, be sure to catch the New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway on August 21 at 3:30pm ET.
More than six decades after his grandfather raced his ‘49 Cadillac on I-94, Colin Garrett is set to take on Michigan International Speedway.
While Roy Kaywood and his brother, Roger, may have driven on a highway before it opened to the public in 1960, Garrett is taking a bit of a different route: racing on an oval track as the No. 26 driver for the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Drag racing, however, was all the rage in Jackson during the ‘50s, and the Kaywoods had the car to beat. In fact, people would come from as far as Ohio to compete against their famous Cadillac.
Today, not only has Garrett inherited the racing gene, but he has continued to honor his family’s deep veteran ties through his 11/11 Veteran Project. Partnering with nonprofits The Rosie Network and Racing for Heroes, Colin works to expand access for suicide prevention programs and other veteran causes across the country.
But the most meaningful part of this upcoming race? Getting to pay tribute to his grandfather Roy, a disabled army veteran, by giving him a place of honor on the hood of his No. 26 Toyota Supra.
“It means a lot to have my Papa on the car for this race,” Garrett says. “He was one of the first ones to encourage my racing career, so I’m grateful I can offer even this small tribute to him for his service to our country.”
Roy Kaywood enlisted with his brother, Roger, and served in Germany during the Korean War. Their sister, Virginia, served as an army nurse during this time as well.
They were no strangers to hard work and serving their country. In fact, the Kaywood kids watched their dad during WWII when he started a machine shop in their garage making parts to help with the war effort.
Founded in 1941, Kaywood Products Corporation was a part of the Jackson business community until it was acquired by Textron in 1997.
Without a doubt, his love for cars and his country has been passed down through the generations. Roy’s grandson, Colin Garrett, carries on his legacy of speed on the NASCAR track, while Colin’s brothers Bryan and Aidan White serve in the U.S. Army.
Nowadays, Roy and his wife, Joan, split their time between Jackson and Danville, Virginia where their grandsons grew up.
And Colin’s Michigan roots run as deep as ever, since he is also the son of Ryan Garrett and Jill Kaywood Garrett, Stockbridge High School graduates (classes of ‘79 and ‘80 respectively).
To see Garrett in action, be sure to catch the NASCAR Xfinity New Holland 250 on August 21st at 3:30pm ET at Michigan International Speedway.
Sponsors on the No. 26 Toyota Supra for this race include The 11/11 Veteran Project, Springfield Distillery, Lisa Kipps-Brown’s “Disrupt Your Now,” accessiBe, and Hoby’s Collective.
In his first 2021 Xfinity Series race, Colin Garrett honored late Rear Admiral Tom Brown, II, SEAL (Ret.) with his name on the passenger side door of the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing RFH Tactical Mobility Toyota Supra for the Ag-Pro 300. Garrett started P22 and finished P15 after the race was called for rain.
RADM Brown’s wife, Stephanie Brown, is founder of The Rosie Network, one of the nonprofits Garrett promotes pro bono. She and their youngest son were able to attend the race and experience this great American hero riding shotgun in spirit.
As usual, Garrett promoted The Rosie Network and Racing For Heroes on the car, and also unveiled his 11.11 Veteran Project on the hood. The paint scheme was Toyota’s Lunar Rock colors and veteran-owned sponsors included:
- on the quarterpanels: RFH Tactical Mobility
- on the deck lid: Body Aqua functional beverages, the first Black Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned sponsor in NASCAR, and Nomad Raceways
- on the lower quarterpanel: UpshiftUplift
Colin Garrett is headed to Talladega Speedway! The 20-year-old driver will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the No. 26 Toyota Supra with Sam Hunt Racing on April 24 for the Ag-Pro 300.
Sponsored by Veteran Owned businesses, Garrett’s car will also have a place of honor for the late RADM Tom Brown II (SEAL) who will be riding shotgun in spirit on the passenger side of the car.
Garrett has been with Sam Hunt Racing since the team began, and he was the pilot of the No. 18 NASCAR K&N Pro Series entry for SHR in 2018 prior to the team moving to the Xfinity Series in 2019.
When asked how he would describe working with a newer team like SHR, Colin said, “I’ve known Sam since 2016, and we started working together at the latter end of 2017. This will be my 4th racing season with him, so to me it doesn’t feel like we’re a newer team. We ran our first Xfinity race together in 2019, and we ran really well. I feel like that showed everyone what the future of this team is. SHR has proven that at every race since then, and I believe it will only get better with the people and equipment that have been acquired since then.”
Colin has been working in the SHR shop this year, so he has seen the mechanical side of things firsthand as they’ve prepared the cars for the track each week.
The South Boston, Virginia native and former South Boston Speedway track champion in the Limited Late Model division shares, “Our plan is to keep the car in one piece and hopefully land in Victory Lane…I will have Chris Lambert on the tower. He’s not exactly a novice when it comes to plate tracks, so that can only add to the hope I have going into it.”
Colin has been an avid supporter of veteran causes, and the 11.11 Veteran Project will even be featured on the hood for this race – Colin’s mission comprised of companies and individuals supporting nonprofits such as The Rosie Network and Racing for Heroes who will also be on the car to promote their free services to help combat veteran suicide.
The Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway will be televised on FOX at 4:00pm ET on Saturday, April 24.
Colin Garrett’s team that races to combat veteran suicide was featured in Military Families magazine in the September 2020 issue. Published by AmeriForce Media, the magazine reaches 6 million readers & goes to 1,300 on-base units & organizations worldwide.
Before those at risk can be helped, they must know about help that’s available to them. That’s the entire purpose of the National Awareness Campaign Colin began with Racing For Heroes in January 2019 and expanded with The Rosie Network that November.
The exposure in Military Families will help us reach many individuals and families who may be at risk, and can literally help save lives. It also gives invaluable exposure to our partners, including veteran-owned The Jewelry Republic that was in the feature photo.
We greatly appreciate that AmeriForce Media’s Managing Editor, Bianca Strzalkowski, understands our mission and recognized how they could help.
You can read the full feature here:
Another no-practice, no-qualifying COVID-era race, the No. 26 drew P37 at Kansas Speedway. Colin Garrett had his first-ever lap at the speedway when he took the green flag and ended the race named Highest Mover of the race.
In Stage 1 of the 3-stage race, Garrett raced from P37 to P17, showing the other teams that he and the Sam Hunt Racing Toyota Supra are a force to be reckoned with.
Restarting P18 for Stage 3, spotter Jess Vaughan radio’ed him, “Doing a great job for never seeing this place before! Beating a lot of guys who have been here quite a few times. Keep diggin’.”
With 5 laps to go after a caution, Garrett was in P20 and raced it home to finish P16. Another great day for Our American Dream Team!
Once again drawing last in the no-practice, no-qualifying race at Talladega Superspeedway, driver Colin Garrett moved up through the field FAST. With some of the fastest track times of the day, he moved from P39 to P17 and was going strong.
Unfortunately, he got caught up in a wreck in front of him, ending the race for 5 cars including the Sam Hunt Racing The Rosie Network / Racing For Heroes #26.
Driver is ok, and that’s all that matters!