Officials from the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC) announced Thursday evening that it raised a significant total of $667,000 despite the challenges from a continuing pandemic that hampered some of the organization’s fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Grants from that total were distributed tonight during the annual Night of Smiles presented by Tele-Optics event to many rural-area child-focused agencies throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The special event was streamed live on the BMS Facebook page.

Once again this year, the Night of Smiles event had a different look and took place in a mobile fashion, as representatives from each of the agencies being honored will take a tour of the Pinnacle Speedway In Lights in their vehicles and then receive their checks in a socially-distanced manner from SCC-Bristol executive director Claudia Byrd as cars crossed the start/finish line of the Bristol Motor Speedway oval.

“Once again we have had some challenges with our fundraisers due to the ongoing pandemic, but just like last year, we were able to forge ahead despite the obstacles,” Byrd said. “While demand for assistance will always exceed our ability to assist no matter the circumstances, we're so thankful to everyone who has donated and volunteered throughout the last 25 years to help us raise nearly $19 million. We would not be able to do this without your love and support. There's no greater blessing than to be here at the Night of Smiles and help give away the money raised to area agencies that are going to help children in need in our community.”

Rise Up!, a Johnson City-based agency who works to inspire and prepare kids for the future, received the Jeff Byrd Grant. Presented in honor of the late general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, the $50,000 award will go towards the organization's efforts to build the Jeff Byrd Movement Park on an adjoining property to provide the kids with opportunities for exercise and activities.

Night of Smiles presented by Tele-Optics is the culmination of a year of SCC fundraising events, including The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights, which opens for its milestone 25th season on Friday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.

Organizations that received funding from Bristol Motor Speedway's Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities during the Night of Smiles event includes:

Abuse Alternatives

American Red Cross of NE Tennessee

American Red Cross of SW Virginia

Appalachia Service Project

Arc of Washington County

Assistance and Resource Ministries

Barter Foundation

Boys & Girls Club of Central Appalachia

Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport

Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County

Boys & Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County

Boys & Girls Club of Morristown

Boys & Girls Club of the Mountain Empire

Bristol Regional Speech & Hearing Center

Cap the Gap for Foster Care

Carter County Foster Care Association

CASA for Kids

CASA of Northeast Tennessee

Children’s Advocacy Center of the first Judicial District

Children’s Advocacy Center of Highlands Community Service

Child Advocacy Center of the 1st Judicial District

Child Advocacy Center of the 3rd Judicial District

Children’s Advocacy Center of Sullivan County

Christmas Box of Northeast Tennessee

Commonwealth Catholic Charities

Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia

Community Help Center of Northeast Tennessee

Crossroads Medical Mission

Crumley House Brain Injury Rehab Center

Family Crisis Support Services

Family Promise of Greater Kingsport

Feeding America Southwest Virginia

First Book Greater Kingsport

Girls Incorporated of Bristol

Girls Incorporated of Johnson City/Washington County

Girls Incorporated of Kingsport

Girls on the Run of Northeast Tennessee

Greater Kingsport Family YMCA

Hands On! Discovery Center

Healing Hands Health Center

Holston United Methodist Home for Children

Hope House

Hope House of Scott County

Isaiah 117 House

Jeremiah School

Jericho Shriners

Johnson County Safe Haven

Literacy Council of Kingsport


Marine Toys for Tots

McClure River Valley Community Center

Morrison School

Morristown Hamblen Central Services

Mountain Kids Inc.

Mountain Region Speech and Hearing

Niswonger Children’s Hospital

Of One Accord Ministry

People Incorporated of Virginia

Reading Buddies

Ridin’ High Therapeutic Horse Program

Rise Up!

River’s Way Outdoor Adventure Center

Santa Pal

Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House

Southwest Virginia CAC/MEOC

St. Anthony Bread Food Pantry

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary

SYNERGY Foundation

TASK: Taking Action for Special Kids

The Bread of Life Children’s Ministry

TLC Community Center

Unicoi Family YMCA

United Way of Southwest Virginia

Waiting to Hear

YMCA of Bristol

Young Life Bristol

Young Life Kingsport

Young Life Upper East Tennessee

YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia

Long hailed as the premier holiday display in the Appalachian Highlands Region, The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights powered by TVA spreads across a four-mile route illuminated by more than two million lights among 250 displays. A trip through the light show sends guests down historic Bristol Dragway and all throughout the property, culminating with a lap around the iconic Bristol Motor Speedway half-mile oval.

The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights runs through Saturday, Jan. 1. In addition to the $50 Fast Pass presented by Citi option which is available on select nights when lines get the longest, the event costs $20 for cars from Sunday through Thursday and $25 on Friday and Saturday nights. For larger groups, vans are $50 and buses are $125.  

For more information about the Pinnacle Speedway In Lights powered by TVA, please visit the BMS website.

About Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities

The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization committed to raising funds for distribution to children-based nonprofit organizations, was established in 1997. Since its inception, the chapter has raised nearly $19 million, awarding grants to hundreds of qualified organizations in the 18-county area surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway. The board of trustees for the Bristol Chapter consists of 18 members, a diverse group of individuals from across the region with wide-ranging backgrounds. The trustees, two staff members and more than 300 volunteers are responsible for hosting numerous events at Bristol Motor Speedway and throughout the Bristol (Tennessee/Virginia) community. For more information about the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, visit