With help from Santa Claus and Charlotte Motor Speedway’s mascot Lug Nut, Speedway Children’s Charities Charlotte (SCC) chapter hosted area nonprofits at Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health, delivered holiday cheer and grant funds to organizations making a direct impact on the lives of area children in need. In total, SCC Charlotte will distribute $785,400 in grants this year to 43 deserving charities located throughout the region. The recipient organizations serve thousands of area children facing challenges ranging from learning disabilities and broken homes to childhood cancer and human trafficking.
On Monday, SCC volunteers and staff welcomed more than 250 children and supporters of recipient charities for an evening of cookies and hot chocolate and a tour through the more than 4 million Christmas lights that illuminate Speedway Christmas, the country’s largest drive-thru holiday light show. Santa Claus and Lug Nut joined the festivities, passing out candy canes and plenty of Christmas cheer.
“Today is the pinnacle for us! Everything we do throughout the year is for this moment,” said Speedway Children’s Charities Executive Director Lisa Starnes. “There’s nothing better than seeing the faces of those who work tirelessly on the front lines. Awarding these grants allows us to come alongside them to make a difference in our community for future generations.”
SCC raises money throughout the year through a variety of fundraising events ranging from its annual black-tie gala and golf tournament to 50/50 raffles, charity track rides and more. The work would not be possible, SCC events manager Taylor Kirby said, without the help of many volunteers. Sandy Cox, program director at Piedmont Residential Development Center, was named SCC’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
“Through all of the hard work of our dedicated volunteers, we are able to stand here today and make a meaningful impact on our community,” Kirby said. “They should be proud of all they did to make this day possible.”
The Charlotte chapter of SCC is one of 11 located at Speedway Motorsports facilities across the country. This year alone, those chapters will distribute nearly $2.9 million to charities that directly impact children in need. Since inception in 1982, SCC has awarded in excess of $65 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the nation.
“It’s more than just a job; it’s a calling,” Speedway Children’s Charities Chairman Marcus Smith said of the caregivers who will receive grants. “We know they put their heart into it. A lot of them have a deeper calling. They are angels.”
For more information on Speedway Children’s Charities or to learn how to volunteer or donate, visit www.speedwaycharities.org.