The Bristol Motor Speedway Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) culminated another landmark year of raising much-needed funds for disadvantaged children of the greater Appalachian region Thursday night during its annual Night of Smiles celebration.  

Executive director Claudia Byrd announced that the BMS SCC chapter raised a substantial total of $805,141 during the 2018 calendar year that will be distributed to 93 rural-area child-focused agencies throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

"There's no greater gift than to be able to help raise money for children in need," Byrd said. "Although demand for assistance will always exceed our ability to help, we are blessed to work with so many inspiring organizations in this region that are focused on providing vital assistance to the children who need it most."

The 2018 Jeff Byrd Grant also was awarded to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Appalachia. Presented in honor of the late general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, the $50,000 award will go towards the organization's efforts to create a sensory room within each of the four elementary/middle schools in Buchanan County where the Boys & Girls Club operates. Sensory rooms are designed to help students who have been diagnosed with autism, cope with stressful situations, regulate sensory needs and reduce challenging behaviors that are the result of overstimulation. The spaces will equally support students with ADD, ADHD and other sensory-related issues.

Night of Smiles is the culmination of a year of SCC fundraising events, including multiple 5k races, golfing and trap shooting tournaments during NASCAR and NHRA race weekends, the Ultimate Bristol Experience Online Auction and The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights powered by TVA, which opens for its 22nd season on Friday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.
Organizations that received funding from the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities includes Abuse Alternatives, American Red Cross of Mountain Empire Virginia, Arc of Washington Co., Assistance and Resource Ministry (ARM), Barter Foundation, Bethany Christian Services, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Boys and Girls Club of Central Appalachia, Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter Co., Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport, Boys and Girls Club of Greenville & Greene County, Boys and Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County, Boys and Girls Club of Morristown, Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Empire, Bread of Life Children's Ministry, Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, Bristol Faith In Action, Bristol Family YMCA Teen Leadership Club, Bristol Regional Speech and Hearing, Cap the Gap for Foster Care, Cap the Gap for Foster Care- Carter Johnson and Unicoi, Carter County Foster Care, Carter Co. Imagination Library, CASA of Northeast Tennessee, Children's Advocacy Center of the 1st Judicial District, Children's Advocacy Center of Highlands Community Services, Children's Advocacy Center of Sullivan Co., Child Advocacy Center of the 3rd Judicial District, Children Exceeding Expectations School JLK, Christmas Box of Northeast Tennessee, Coalition for Kids, Communities In Schools of Virginia, Crossroads Medical Mission, Crumley House Brain Injury Rehab Center, East TN Christian Home and Academy, Family Crisis Support Services, Family Promise of Greater Kingsport, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, First Book-Greater Kingsport, FRIENDS, Friends of Steel Creek Park, Girls Incorporated of Bristol, Girls Incorporated of Johnson City/Washington County, Girls Incorporated of Kingsport, Girls on the Run of NE. Tennessee, Good Samaritan Ministries, Greater Kingsport Family YMCA, Greene County Imagination Library, Holston Habitat for Humanity, Hands On!  Discovery Center, Healing Hands Health Center, Hope House, Hope House of Scott Co., Imagination Library of Bristol VA, Imagination Library of Russell County, Isaiah 117 House, Jeremiah School, Jerico Shriners, Johnson Co. Safe Haven, Jonesville Methodist Church Feeding America Food Pantry #300, Literacy Council of Kingsport, Lunchbox 276, McClure River Valley Community Center, Morrison School, Mountain Kids Inc, Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center, Niswonger Children's Hospital -- Mountain States/Ballad Health, Of One Accord Ministry, One Acre Café, Reading Buddies, Ridin' High Therapeutic Horse Program, Rise Up!, River's Way, Outdoor Adventure Center, Santa Pal, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN, Shepard's Inn, Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House, Southwest VA CAC - Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Sullivan County Imagination Library, Sullivan County Scottish Rite Foundation, Sullivan Co. Sheriff's Office Auxiliary, TASK: Taking Action for Special Kids, TLC Community Center, Town Square Inc. Food Ministries, Unicoi  County Family YMCA, United Way of Southwest Virginia, Waiting to Hear, Washington County Friends of Santa, Young Life Bristol, Young Life Kingsport, Young Life Upper East Tennessee, YWCA NETN and SWVA