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Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.

Kasey Kahne
Member, President's Council on Service and Civic Participation
April 27, 2006

Kasey Kahne
Good afternoon. It's a privilege to chat with you all today to discuss the President's Call to Service during National Volunteer Week.

This past February I was named to the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The Council brings together leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment, sports, education, government, nonprofits, and the media to promote and recognize outstanding volunteer service and to raise awareness of the many ways in which Americans can help meet the vital needs of their communities through civic engagement and service. I have the honor of bringing this important message to the NASCAR community. So far, people have been really responsive and I'm excited about what we can get accomplished in the hear future.

With that, let's get started.

Kathi, from New Rochelle, NY writes:
Was there a specific event in your life that made this such an important cause to you?

Kasey Kahne
About two and a half years ago one of my friends was diagnoised with cancer and I tried to involve racing and find other ways to raise money for him and his family to pay for treatments. Between that and visiting chronically ill children in hospitals early in my career, I was inspired to further involve myself in community service activities. I liked putting smiles on their faces and helping to take their mind off their illness, even if it was a short period of time.

Matt, from Boone, NC writes:
Do you feel that the President's Council on Service should stress volunteering everyday of the year, and not just focusing on one week? I feel that it is important that we as Americans volunteer and share the wealth and oppurtunity that we have been given at all times. I do find Volunteer week to be a great start to an ongoing cause.

Kasey Kahne
Thanks for your question, Matt.

The President's Council is more than just volunteering during National Volunteer Week. In fact, I am planning on participating in several volunteer service events over the next few months, and I try to perform some sort of service activity almost every day.

I am working with a program that the NASCAR Foundation and Bank of America are developing to encourage volunteerism and unify NASCAR charity groups during the Neighborhood Excellence 400 in June.

Also, Council members work to recognize individuals with the President's Volunteer Service Award throughout the year.

Lindsey, from Walkerton writes:
What do you do to prepare yourself on race day? Love always, your biggest fan (Lindsey)

Kasey Kahne
You actually prepare all week long. By race day, you are ready to race, you know where your car is at - how it has felt during practice. At that point, you need to be well hydrated and be ready for the race.

It is important that you work with your team - that's big. We communicate all week long when we are testing and in the shop going over notes. It starts long before the weekend and by race day, it's all about where you are in that point and time.

Of course, getting a good meal in before the race is important to make sure that you are energized for the three to five hour race ahead of you.

Judy, from Sunrise Elem., Enumclaw, WA writes:
Hello Kasey Kahne, At Sunrise Elementary we all promise to follow 3 rules: 1. Safety 2. Respect 3. Responsibility

As a NASCAR driver, what rules do you and other drivers agree to follow so that everyone is safe, respectful, and responsible? Thank you and good luck this season

Mrs. Craighead's 2nd graders P.S. We loved "Kasey Kahne Day" at our school. Happy Birthday to you Kasey

Kasey Kahne
Thanks for your question, Judy. Please pass on a hello to your class from me.

Safety is important, especially on the road and when going at high speeds. Those that understand that seem to be those that excel in this sport.

For myself, I learned respect early on as a kid and that you have to take responsibility for yourself. Those were some of the things I learned from my parents and in school. I use all three of these rules in NASCAR and feel like it has earned me respect from a lot of other NASCAR drivers because that's the way I approach each race.

And, thanks for your birthday wishes!

Emily, from Lane, Kansas writes:
Kasey, How do you find the time to serve on the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation with your busy racing schedule and what are some of the activities you plan to participate in during the National Volunteer Week? Thanks and Good Luck

Kasey Kahne
Great question Emily. Of course, everyone is very busy these days. When I was first approached to serve on the Council, I thought it was important to make time to give back.

As part of the Council, I wanted to expand the President's Call to Service by increasing awareness among NASCAR fans - there are so many great fans out there and I knew they would answer the call.

My sister is also very dedicated to the Kasey Khane Foundation, which I started and she manages. She does a great job.

Christina, from Bradenton, FL. writes:
Kasey, can you explain what the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation is and what exactly you will be doing as a member? (Good luck at Talladega, you can do it buddy)

Kasey Kahne
Basically, we are charged with promoting and expanding volunteer service. In addition, the Council oversees the distribution of the President's Volunteer Service Awards to deserving individuals throughout the year.

Over 65 million people are volunteering in America today. And it is our job to increase that. You can learn more about the Council or ways that you can get involved in volunteer service, by visiting

Daniel, from Lakeville, CT writes:
As a 16 year old, what is the best way for me to volunteer? Thanks.

Kasey Kahne
Hey Daniel - good question. I'm actually going to kick this one to the Director of USA Freedom Corps, Desiree Sayle.

Desiree Sayle
Thanks Kasey! I actually get this question a lot. The easiest way to find a volunteer opportunity is by searching our Volunteer Network on We have over 2 million volunteer opportunities listed in our database, so you should easily find a service project that fits your interests.

You should also talk to your parents and teachers about your interest in volunteering and ask how they can help find a good opportunity. In fact, you should ask them to join you so you can all volunteer together.

Katie, from Gorham, Maine writes:
My Question is regarding what exactly Kasey and other Participants on the President's Council on Service and Civic's duties are? Do they do sevice just in the United States or do they take it overseas? Thank you

Kasey Kahne
Katie, great question. As I touched on a bit earlier, I'm joined on the President's Council by other athletes, entertainers, business executives and non-profit leaders who all believe it's important to give back to your community and promote volunteering. As members of the Council we travel around and encourage people of all ages to take some time out of their busy schedules to volunteer -- and there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer close to home and overseas, as you mention. We also recognize individuals with the President's Volunteer Service Award. If you haven't heard about that Award - you can learn more at -- you can start tracking your volunteer service hours today, and be well on your way to earning the recognition you deserve!

Kasey Kahne
Thank you for your great questions. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you all this afternoon about the importance of volunteerism and I encourage to visit to find ways you can make a difference in your community. Also, thanks to everyone who wished me well at Talladega this weekend.

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