Speedway Children's Charities donated in excess of $734,000 to organizations in the Charlotte region benefiting thousands of children in nine area counties during the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway tree lighting ceremony on Monday.

Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, joined Scott Smith, president of the Charlotte chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, and Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Tom Sadler, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities, in awarding the grants to 73 local organizations.

"Children are a special gift and it's great to be able to help so many each year," said Marcus Smith. "Everyone at Speedway Children's Charities works hard to make a difference in the lives of children, and I applaud them for making this a record-setting year. It's incredible that we're able to assist more area children than ever before."

Speedway Children's Charities raised the record amount through various fundraising activities along with individual and corporate donations throughout the year. This year's grant total is almost 5 percent more than last year's contribution and 45 percent more than was donated in 2005.

A number of area agencies will directly benefit from the funds, including A Better World (helps provide finances to operate after-school programs), Cabarrus County Boys & Girls Club, Inc. (provides transportation for children to attend summer and after school camps) and Thompson Child & Family Focus (provides comprehensive early childhood education where typically developing and special needs children learn together).

"Our volunteers, sponsors and donors are the ones who make all of this possible," said Scott Smith. "They help bring smiles to the faces of so many children in our community, and on behalf of those that we assist, I would like to thank each and every one of them."

In addition to the grant distribution, the holiday ceremony included the lighting of Charlotte Motor Speedway's one-of-a-kind 50-foot Christmas tree and visits by Santa Claus and Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot.


About Speedway Children's Charities

Making a difference in a child's life is the focus of Speedway Children's Charities (www.speedwaycharities.org) and we strive to do this in collaboration with the non-profit organizations we support nationwide. Individually, SCC's local chapters identify the needs of children in their communities and award grants to organizations that address them. In 2007, the chapters combined to award more than $3.3 million to over 510 organizations.


2008 Charlotte Chapter Grant Recipients

A Better World

A Child's Place of Charlotte, Inc.

A Place for Hope, Inc.

Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas, Inc.

Adolescent and Family Enrichment Council

Alexander Youth Network

Allegro Foundation

American Red Cross - Cabarrus County

Another Day, Inc.

Arc Services, Inc.

Autism Services of Mecklenburg County, Inc.

Bethel Elementary School

Bethlehem Center of Charlotte, Inc.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte


Cabarrus County Boys and Girls Club

Camp CARE, Inc.

Chapel of Christ the King Weekday School

Charity League, Inc.

Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center

CMC-Northeast Foundation

Communities in Schools of Cabarrus County

Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc.

Communities of Rowan County, Inc.

Cox Mill Elementary

Crisis Assistance Ministry

Crisis Pregnancy Center of Gaston County

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Discovery Home Care, Inc.

Donors Choose, Inc.

Easter Seals UCP North Carolina

Fill My Cup

Florence Crittenton Services Inc.

GHA, Inc.

Girls on the Run International

Greater Enrichment Program, Inc.

Harvest Center

Hendricks Foundation

Holy Angels, Inc.

JN Fries Middle School

Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.

Keystone Substance Abuse Services

KinderMourn, Inc.

Levine Children's Hospital

March Forth with Hope Foundation, Inc.


Misty Meadows Mitey Riders, Inc.

Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc.

NoDa School of Arts

Parker Autism Foundation

Partners for Parks, Inc.

Partners in Out-of-School

Pat's Place Child Advocacy Center, Inc.

Philips Academy of North Carolina, Inc.

Piedmont Mediation Center, Inc.

Prevent Blindness North Carolina

Pure Fashion

Right Moves for Youth

Room at the Inn

Rowan County Youth Services Bureau, Inc.

Saving Grace Farm dba JOY Ride Center

Seigle Avenue Partners, Inc.

Seigle Avenue Preschool Cooperative, Inc.

Teach for America

The Academic Learning Center, Inc.

The Junior Charity League of Concord

The Salvation Army of Cabarrus County

The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte

Thompson Child & Family Focus

United Family Services, Inc.

University Fellowship


Walter T. Morgan Services Foundation/The First Tee