Record-breaking $1,002,380 distributed to nearly 100 regional agencies by Bristol chapter of Speedway Children's Charities
The annual Night of Smiles gave attendees more than one million reasons to beam, following the completion of a milestone mission for 2016.
Officials of the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) announced Thursday evening that it had exceeded its 2016 goal of raising more than $1 million - the first time in the chapter's 20-year history that the landmark total has been passed. The funds will be distributed to nearly 100 rural area child-focused agencies, far surpassing the previous record of $805,900, set in 2015.
The final total for the year registered at $1,002,380.
"Reaching the $1 million benchmark is a fitting capstone for Bristol Motor Speedway's Biggest Year Ever," said Claudia Byrd, executive director of the Bristol Chapter of SCC. "Of course the demand for assistance will always outstrip our ability to help, but we are thoroughly delighted that we will be able to assist additional agencies with their child-focused needs this year."
"The wonderful spirit of giving is alive and well in our region as demonstrated by this record-breaking achievement," Byrd continued, "and on behalf of all the hundreds of volunteers, trustees and staff members that it takes to coordinate and produce Speedway Children's Charities events throughout the year, we offer a huge thank you."
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 2016 Jeff Byrd Grant was also awarded to Coalition for Kids, a Johnson City-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in need. Presented in honor of the late general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, the $50,000 award will fund an in-house high quality stem lab, named "The Jeff Byrd STEM Lab," that can foster like based projects and activities.
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 and The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights Powered by TVA, which opens for its 20th season Friday, Nov. 18.
For more information about Speedway Children's Charities, visit Bristol.SpeedwayCharities.org or call (855) 580-5525.