SCC-Bristol awards $667,000 in grants to regional child-based agencies during annual Night of Smiles event
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:
American Red Cross of NE Tennessee
American Red Cross of SW Virginia
Appalachia Service Project
Arc of Washington County
Assistance and Resource Ministries
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 of Scott County
Isaiah 117 House
Johnson County Safe Haven
Literacy Council of Kingsport
Marine Toys for Tots
McClure River Valley Community Center
Morristown Hamblen Central Services
Mountain Kids Inc.
Mountain Region Speech and Hearing
Niswonger Children’s Hospital
Of One Accord Ministry
People Incorporated of Virginia
Ridin’ High Therapeutic Horse Program
River’s Way Outdoor Adventure Center
Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House
Southwest Virginia CAC/MEOC
St. Anthony Bread Food Pantry
Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary
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 speedwaycharities.org/bristol.