Speedway Children's Charities Distributes Record-Breaking $805,900 To 90 Regional Agencies
Among all the light displays on the Bristol Motor Speedway grounds, the brightest spot on Thursday was the annual Night of Smiles.
During its yearly meeting, the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) distributed a record-breaking $805,900 to 90 area child-focused agencies, garnering grins from representatives throughout the region.
"The generosity of our region amazes me, year after year," said Claudia Byrd, executive director of the Bristol Chapter of SCC. "We're honored to say that this is the largest disbursement of funds to the greatest number of children's agencies since we began, back in 1997.
"It takes hundreds of volunteers, trustees and staff to coordinate and produce Speedway Children's Charities activities throughout the year, and our region should be very proud to be home to such a wonderful spirit of giving."
The event gathered multiple agencies to receive grants, including: Abuse Alternatives, Appalachia Service Project, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of East Tennessee, CASA of Northeast Tennessee, Coalition for Kids, Holston United Methodist Home for Children, Niswonger Children's Hospital, Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, TASK: Taking Action for Special Kids, and Washington County Friends of Santa.
The 2015 Jeff Byrd Grant was also awarded to Children Exceeding Expectations, a free school exclusively for children with cancer, operated by the Junior League of Kingsport. Presented in honor of the late general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, the $50,000 award will fund construction of the Byrd House Treehouse, an age-appropriate, handicap-accessible place for children to learn and play outside.
Night of Smiles is the culmination of a year of SCC fundraising events, including spring, fall and winter 5k races, golfing and shooting tournaments held during August Race Week, the Ultimate Bristol Experience Online Auction, October's Sharky 500 and The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights Powered by TVA, which opens for its 19th season Friday, Nov. 13.
For more information about Speedway Children's Charities, visit Bristol.SpeedwayCharities.org or call (855) 580-5525.