Launched in 2011, The Infinite Hero Foundation “…is to combat the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families.” Military personnel returning from overseas deployment face long term employment, mental and physical problems that the majority of Americans don’t understand. They work with other non-profit veterans groups and give out grants to help service men and women cope with these long term problems.
Like many veterans groups, Infinite Hero uses auto racing as a way to promote their cause. But unlike most groups Infinite Hero came up with a new and unique way to raise funds. Infinite Hero uses an emblem that, according to their site, “The Infinite Hero emblem incorporates the color purple to honor those who have been wounded in battle, the Greek cross to signify aid, and the infinity symbol to represent the conviction that the sacrifices of heroes should always be remembered. The Infinite Hero Foundation thanks our founding corporate partner Oakley for their leadership and guidance in creating the Infinite Hero logo.”
In April 2014, they started sponsoring Jack Beckman’s funny car. This also began the NHRA coin program. This is a new form of racing memorabilia I have never seen before, though it’s a great idea. When Jack Beckman gets into his funny car to race, he carries at least 5 Infinite Hero Challenge Coins in the pocket of his driver suit. Once the race is over, he will autograph them and sell them at the track and on eBay. They cost $100 with all proceeds going to the Infinite Hero Foundation.
The idea of items carried in a pocket is not a new one. NASA has done this for years. Many space shuttle flights carried first day covers in the storage bay. When the shuttle landed, the covers were removed, and sold to collectors. I’m a little surprised this hasn’t been done before with auto racing, because I think that it would create a new memorabilia market.
The 2014 design is slightly bigger than a quarter, but not as big as a half-dollar. It is quite thick, and has a ridged edge. One side featured “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism,” around a globe design with an Oakley logo. Oakley is a partner with the Infinite Hero Foundation. The other side features an embossed Infinite Hero Foundation logo. The coin was placed in a round, flat plastic container, with black foam braces, which Jack autographed. This particular coin was used at the 2014 Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove in Reading Pennsylvania.
A redesigned coin of the same size was introduced for 2015. The Oakley logos are gone. One side features a design similar to the globe design, but the globe design has been replaced with an American Flag design. “Courage, Honor, Virtue, Heroism” has been replaced with “Duty, Honor, Innovation, Courage.” The new emblem on the reverse side has one of the across bands removed. The new packaging is an upgrade, with the circular plastic cylander replaced with an attractive box. It comes with a card that Jack Beckman autographed, and on the reverse it has the Infinite Hero Foundation Pledge.
The Infinite Hero Foundation is a worthwhile charity, designed to help our nations veterans. I fully support them, and I encourage my readers to try and buy at least one of these coins.