Hundreds of community members enjoyed a special evening of fundraising and sharing gratitude at Sonoma Raceway on Dec. 12 at the raceway’s Laps of Appreciation event.

The event, which was highlighted by rides in emergency vehicles around the raceway’s 12-turn road course, was designed to give the community an opportunity to thank public safety personnel involved in the response to October’s fires. In addition, the fundraiser generated more than $72,600 for the Sonoma County Resilience Fund and the Redwood Valley and Santa Rosa Community Recovery Fund.

“Our goals were to raise some money and to provide a fun environment for community members to interact and thank representatives of the agencies who did so much on all of our behalves during the recent fires,” said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. “I think the event was a success on both fronts.”

The evening featured more than 30 emergency response vehicles from North Bay fire departments, local police and sheriff offices, the California Highway Patrol, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units, as well as Sonoma Raceway Fire/Safety vehicles. Participating agencies included: CAL FIRE, Central Marin Fire Department, CHP Napa, CHP Marin, CHP Helicopter Golden Gate Air Operations, Lakeville Fire Department, Marin County Fire Department, Mill Valley Fire Department, Novato Fire Department, Ross Valley Fire Department, Schell-Vista Fire Protection District, Sonoma County Fire, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority and the Tiburon Fire Protection District.

Proceeds were raised through a variety of fundraising efforts, including donations for ride tickets and Sonoma Strong T-shirts and NHRA Salutes First Responders coin sales, as well as a $50,000 match from Sonoma Raceway and a $10,000 match from NASCAR as well as a generous donation from the Save Mart Companies.

For more information on upcoming Sonoma Raceway events, visit SonomaRaceway.com or call 800-870-RACE.