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EDWARDS HELPING SCHOOL CHILDREN.

Byline: TIM HADDOCK

Staff Writer

Carl Edwards, who used to be a substitute teacher before becoming a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver, will be helping out hundreds of students in Southern California start the school year right.

Edwards and The Office Depot Foundation are donating 1,450 backpacks to organizations in Southern California. It is part of a nationwide effort that will see 300,000 backpacks containing basic school supplies given to underprivileged children.

Edwards, an ambassador for youth for National PTA, will be at The Office Depot at 8160 Day Creek Blvd. in Rancho Cucamonga from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday to help distribute the backpacks.

The students who will be receiving the backpacks are from the 5th District PTA, Planet Hope, Vine Life Christian Fellowship, Feeding Those Who Feed Us, HOPE Worldwide and Randall Pepper Elementary School.

Edwards will also be available to sign autographs for 200 people beginning at 6 p.m. at The Office Depot in Rancho Cucamonga. The store will be distributing wristbands to those who want autographs beginning at 7 a.m.

A Night with Kevin Harvick in Bakersfield: Kevin Harvick will be in his hometown of Bakersfield on Thursday.

Harvick will be signing autographs for 300 fans and meeting with them from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Camping World in Bakersfield.

It precedes A Night with Kevin Harvick at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace which will benefit the Kern County High School Racing Series.

The inaugural fund raiser will include a silent auction with items from Harvick and other NASCAR drivers, dinner, live music and dancing.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds the Kern Country High School Racing Series.

Joe Gibbs Racing builds a playground: The crew chief for Tony Stewart's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team will be part of a team of volunteers building a race-themed playground in Fontana on Thursday.

Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief, and volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM! and the United Way plan to build a playground in one day at North Tamarind Park.

The playground is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program which plans to build 10 new playgrounds in communities that host NASCAR events in 2007.

The playground was designed based on drawings created by children from Fontana and its neighboring communities. The playground equipment at North Tamarind Park is more than 25 years old and does not meet current safety standards.

Volunteers will begin working on the playground at 8:30 a.m. and are scheduled to complete the project at about 2 p.m. The park is at 8025 Tamarind Ave., Fontana.

timothy.haddock@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3715

CAPTION(S):

3 boxes

Box:

(1) HANDICAPPING THE RACE

- Louis Brewster

(2) NEXTEL CUP SEASON WINNERS

(3) NEXTEL CUP TOP 20
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 29, 2007
Words:475
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