Monday, April 23, 2012

Austin Petty Issues Statement On Victory Junction Gang Controversy

Victory Junction Gang Chief Operating Officer Austin Petty issued a statement today in response to the recent decision by the camp’s Board of Directors to transition his mother, VJGC founder Pattie Petty, to Emeritus Status with the organization.

VJGC founder Pattie Petty
“Victory Junction has extremely high ethical standards and only decisions that benefit the sustainability and longevity of camp are made by our well-respected Board of Directors,” said Petty. “I can confirm my mom accepted a goodwill ambassador position as Chairwoman Emeritus from our Board, but that is all I can confirm at this point, given that this involves ongoing negotiations between an employee and employer.”  

Pattie Petty has been spending much of her time in Wyandotte County, Kansas, recently, attempting to raise money for a second Victory Junction Gang Camp planned for the area. The organization’s Board of Directors informed her recently that she will not be part of camp operations going forward, offering her ceremonial “emeritus status” instead. It is a decision Petty told the Kansas City Star she does not understand.
“I was given an ultimatum...  never go to the camp (or) talk to anybody with the camp,” she claimed, calling the experience “probably the most hurtful thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. They don’t want anything to do with me,” she said. “They gave me not one reason. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the word came back to me I was making irrational decisions.”
Austin Petty did not comment specifically on the situation, saying, “Personnel matters are private and confidential per the law and human resource policies. While public figures are involved, this situation is no different from a regulatory perspective. Because of this, we will not have any further comment on this or any other personnel issues at this time.”
Kyle and Pattie Petty founded VJGC in 2004, building a sprawling facility on 72 acres in Randleman, N.C., as a tribute to their son, Adam, who died in a Sprint Cup Series practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway four years earlier. The camp hosts nearly 4,000 seriously ill children each year at no cost, relying on a steady stream of donations from NASCAR fans and major corporations. In 2007, they announced plans to build a second camp in the Kansas City area, but the project has been slowed by a sluggish economy and lagging donations.
Pattie Petty was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year, and recently began taking a modest salary from the camp in order to attain health insurance.  “I’ve got health issues,” said Petty to the Star, “but none of them would prohibit me from doing what I’ve always done for the kids and for the camp.  I don’t think they took my illness into consideration at all.” She said she asked VJGC for lifetime health insurance coverage as part of her severance, but was offered two years instead.
Austin Petty promised today that the organization will weather this controversy and remain focused on its fundamental mission. “Seriously ill children are the motivation of Victory Junction,” he said. “We are as committed as ever to enriching the lives of chronically ill kids at our existing facility in Randleman, NC, as well as pushing forward the successes of a second camp serving the Midwest.”


  1. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Money screws up everything, no matter how beneficial you think it will be. For the VJG to do this is absolutely wrong and could hurt donations. Which of course hurts the kids.

    Infighting, go to love it.

    Doug from NJ

  2. Might be time to fire the board of directors

  3. Anonymous7:56 PM

    No good deed goes unpunished

  4. Anonymous8:44 PM

    What a horrible way to treat such a fine lady! She at least deserves an explanation and should be given some consideration for her disease. After all, she is one of the founders.

  5. Anonymous8:51 PM

    WOW... that's rough. I'm sure that will tarnish VJGC. She founded it and they pretty much threw her out. I'd like to get Kyle's take on this..

  6. steve brown9:31 PM

    if this is how they treat patti let me suggest that we all fund a differnt charity.there are lots of worthy ones out there.

  7. How can something so wrong happen to the co-founder of The Victory Junction Gang Camp. Helping terminal ill children has been her passion since losing her precious son Adam. This cannot be allowed to happen.

  8. Chuck6:00 AM

    Why do I think there is alot more to this story?

  9. This is very strange. Has anyone reached out to Kyle Petty about this? And what is with the very business-like demeanor from her son?

    All of this is very confusing. I hope this doesn't hurt the kids that attend the camp. It is going to become a media circus.

    I have always donated to Victory Junction Gang Camp. Kicking out the founder without a legitimate reason doesn't make me feel comfortable with donating funds to the organization.

    Please keep up with the story as I haven't heard it anywhere else.

  10. Anonymous1:29 PM

    I no longer feel compeled to donate to the VJG

  11. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Iam a big nascar and petty fan I fell maybe the cost of Patty's isurance is a burden on the camp but you cannot put a price on what she and kyle has done to build it.Will i still contrubite to VJG don't know.Just hpe it don't all collaspe for such a stupid move by the board.

  12. Anonymous9:54 PM

    From the Kansas City Star: Pearcy said: “There’s not one person on the (Kansas City) board who would like anything more than for (Pattie Petty) to continue to be our spokesperson and continue to have an active role in the development of a camp here in Kansas City.” Apparently that’s not going to happen, though Petty’s younger son, Austin, will continue to serve as chief operating officer of the camp in North Carolina. Pattie Petty said she has not spoken with Austin since Valentine’s Day.

    That's odd.

  13. What is going on here?!?

  14. Anonymous6:46 PM