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Speedway Children’s Charities raises $235K

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More than 50 North Bay nonprofit organizations will benefit from more than $230,000 generated during the 2013 motor-racing season at Sonoma Raceway.

The Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, raised $234,670 to help children in need through 10 fundraising events in 2013.

The monies were generated through events held during the raceway’s major-event weekends, including NASCAR, NHRA and INDYCAR. Highlights of the year included the Children’s Champions NASCAR Grand Marshal’s Banquet and the Ride of a Lifetime NASCAR Charity Auction, which combined to raise more than $67,000 during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in June.

The ninth annual Classic Sports Racing Group’s (CSRG) Charity Challenge generated $29,490 for the Sonoma chapter and a 3J’s Motorcycle Track Day raised an additional $24,401.

The majority of those funds were distributed to Sonoma County youth groups at the chapter’s annual board of trustees meeting last week. Forty-five Sonoma County nonprofits will receive grants totaling more than $211,000 from the Sonoma chapter. The chapter has distributed more than $4.5 million to Sonoma County youth groups since 2001.

“Since 1975, YWCA Sonoma County has distinguished itself as the leading provider of domestic violence services and support in our community,” said Madeleine Keegan O’Connell, chief executive officer of YWCA of Sonoma County, one of SCC’s grant recipients. “Financial support from our friends at Speedway Children’s Charities is vital to sustaining the YWCA Safe House shelter for women and children fleeing violence in a place they should least expect it, in their own homes. Domestic violence affects one in four women and their families, that’s more than ovarian, lung and breast cancer combined.”

Speedway Children’s Charities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for qualified children’s organizations. Founded in 1984 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., SCC originated at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina and now boasts eight chapters around the country.

The following 45 Sonoma County youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children’s Charities in 2013: Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the North Bay; Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County; Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley; California Parenting Institute; California Youth Outreach; Committee on the Shelterless (COTS);Community Action Partnership; Conservation Corps North Bay; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA);DeMeo Teen Club; FENCE at the Top, Inc.; Friends in Sonoma Helping; Hanna Boys Center; Healthy Community Consortium; La Luz Center; LandPaths; LifeWorks of Sonoma County; Martial Arts Youth Institute; Matrix A Parent Network & Resource Center; McDowell Drug Task Force; Mentor Me Petaluma; North Bay Children’s Center; On the Move; Pediatric Dental Incentive of the North Coast; Petaluma People Services; Redwood Community Health Coalition; Redwood Empire Food Bank; Roseland Charter School; Santa Rosa Community Health Centers; Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital; Social Advocates for Youth; Sonoma County Family YMCA; Sonoma Overnight Support; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (School Gardens); Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (Kid Scoop); Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (Every 15 minutes); Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance; Sonoma Valley Teen Services; Sunny Hills Services; The Living Room; The Salvation Army; Verity; Valley of the Moon Children’s Home Foundation; WillMar Family Grief and Healing Center and the YWCA of Sonoma County.

In addition to the proceeds generated by SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted several local nonprofit groups to support concession stands around the facility during race weekends. In exchange for their hard work, Levy gives back a portion of sales to support those nonprofit organizations.

These groups, including Boys & Girls Club of Vallejo, Native Sons of the Golden West, Petaluma High School Athletics, Vallejo High School, Vallejo Little League, North Bay Athletics and Woodland Star Charter School, among others, received a total of $65,782 for their work throughout the major event season.

For more information on the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, visit racesonoma.com/raceway/community/scc. If your nonprofit group is interested in working with Levy Restaurants, contact Victoria Campbell at vcampbell@levyrestaurants.com or 939-1454.