Charity Meets: Krissie Newman, Wife Of NASCAR’s Ryan Newman
Oh the fabulous life a professional athlete’s wife.
That’s what shows like VH1’s “Basketball Wives” and “NFL Wives” and even Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” would have you believe, and in most cases that’s probably true. But on a recent hot summer day, this Miss A contributing editor drove 50 miles north of Charlotte, N.C., to stand in the middle of a field gazing out across the rolling hillside alongside sheep, goats, cows and none other than NASCAR wife Krissie Newman. And while the view was nothing short of awe-inspiring, some of the smells were perhaps a little less than the fabulous life those shows regularly portray.
Krissie might be more commonly known for living life in the fast lane by being married to NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, but upon meeting her you immediately pick up that she’s much more at ease in the country among the animals that are part of Rescue Ranch. The Ranch is an animal welfare nonprofit organization the couple formed two years ago that conducts a variety of programs aimed at fulfilling its primary goal of ending pet overpopulation and associated suffering.
Youth education plays a critical role in the Ranch’s mission. As part of that and its Humane Education Programs, this summer the Ranch played host to dozens of children from local schools and organizations who got the opportunity for hands-on interaction with the animals in an effort to enhance the learning process of respect, compassion and care of them.
“One of my favorite things about the Ranch is seeing the kids come here,” Newman said. “It’s a lot of fun to sit down with groups and teach them about the different animals while also educating them about things like spaying, neutering and why it’s important to adopt from shelters and humane breeders instead of puppy mills.”
The Newman’s have big aspirations for the facility, with long-term plans to turn it into a real outdoor destination where people can stop in “to do and learn” at the same time. After getting a guided tour of the Ranch’s indoor and outdoor facility, we rode around the property while Krissie outlined their vision for eventual expansion into more educational offerings; an animal memorial garden; 24 hour emergency veterinary services; adoption and spay/neuter programs; boarding; self guided nature trails and more.
The Rescue Ranch is a true passion project for the couple. In fact, Krissie planned to stay home from the race track that weekend so that she could bottle feed the more than 60 fawns they were currently housing on the property as part of their personal deer rescue and rehabilitation project (a project that is not part of the Rescue Ranch’s official programming).
In between helping on the Ranch and jetting off in private planes to the next NASCAR race, we got the chance to catch up with Krissie about what happens when charity meets the great outdoors and what item a gal needs to have before she treks out into the country.
Twitter: @newmankrissie; @RescueRanchNC
Instagram: krissienewman; rescueranch
What are three words that best describe you? Stubborn, compassionate, hard-working
Tell us about the mission of the Rescue Ranch. The mission as it is, is about Humane education and enhancing the human-animal bond, but it is ever changing. My focus used to be primarily dog/cat. But as Rescue Ranch develops there is a greater need to support the groups already focused on dog/cat and reach out to areas we are not seeing a lot of – farm animals, wild animals and some domestic. We are focused on teaching habitats, ecosystems, as well as farming and where your food comes from. Our mission is evolving everyday. Education is our main focus in every aspect of what we are doing here at the Ranch.
Why is giving back important to you? I feel there is a need to teach our youth and our communities about animals, nature and the environment. I want to see my kids grow up in a society where there are high levels of compassion and respect for nature, the environment and to be able to learn about the beautiful things around us and appreciate them. I don’t see it as giving back, I see it as doing something I love and enjoy.
Besides RR, are there any other charities near and dear to your heart? Martin Truex Jr. Foundation– they do great things for kids with cancer and their families.
Any rescue group, animal organization or things with kids. I think it is important to be a resource and for all of these charities to network together.
When it comes to your own philanthropic efforts, what do you look back and feel made the largest impact on those that you set out to help? I hope with Rescue Ranch they come and learn about animals, the environment and the outdoors. I hope they take a piece of what they learn home and understand the human effects on it all and develop a deeper level of compassion and understanding/respect for nature and its animals
What about your work inspires you most? All the animals, wild and domestic, being misunderstood and seeing an individual change their mentality about it.
Was there anything in your past that pointed you in the direction you’ve taken? Everything in my past has taught me something and brought me to where I am today and I learn more and more as I go.
Now for some fun questions.
Favorite/go-to piece of clothing? Jeans, sandals and a t-shirt
Must-have item for outdoor adventures or trips to the country? Boots
What is your favorite beauty product? Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer
How would you describe your home décor? Rustic
Favorite food: anything Italian
Favorite vacation spot: Caribbean
Favorite TV show: Scandal
Favorite thing to do at the track: Sightsee with kids