The holiday spirit filled The Palace Theatre in Manchester, N.H. Wednesday as Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig joined the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCCNH), the official charity of New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), at its 12th annual Grant Distribution Ceremony. Grants were handed out to 23 local nonprofits totaling $136,500 in front of the festive backdrop from “A Christmas Carol.”
“The spirit of giving this season is more important than ever,” said Craig as she addressed the grant recipients during the ceremony. “The list of recipients today are among the wonderful organizations that make New Hampshire and New England special, and I want to thank you all for your dedication and service to children. I’m grateful to be here with all of you to recognize the outstanding work you do.”
Since its inception in 2009, SCCNH has distributed more than $1.9 million, supporting more than 882,000 children throughout the region.
“This ceremony is so special, especially as we head in to the heart of the holiday season, and I’m thankful that we were able to host it again this year,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “It’s a blessing and a privilege to support so many wonderful organizations throughout New England that help families and children in need every single day.”
The grants distributed today resulted from fundraising opportunities and events that took place between November 2020 and October 2021 including Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane & Oil, Yule Light Up The Night Run/Walk, five Laps for Charity events, a motorcycle Ride to the Racetrack from Laconia Harley-Davidson and the Dale Jr. Foundation Safe Kids 301. SCCNH also presented the opportunity for race fans to Sign the Track Wall Banner prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race, hosted fan-favorite events such as the Wicked Good Live Auction and introduced a hugely successful first-time 50/50 Raffle that grew to more than $80,000 during the speedway’s July NASCAR weekend.
SCCNH Director Danielle Cyr participated in the Goggins Challenge, running four miles every four hours for a total of 48 hours to raise money for SCCNH. That, along with corporate donations from long-time SCCNH supporter PPG and first-time SCCNH supporter Ambetter by NH Healthy Families and several donations from New England race fans enhanced the overall total for the year.
“I am so humbled by the work that all of these organizations do each and every day, and we are thrilled to be able to play a small part in their success,” said Cyr, who also serves as the director of marketing for New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “Today is truly a feel-good day for me, the board members and the speedway team who all put their hearts and souls into providing fundraising opportunities throughout the year to help tens of thousands of children throughout New England.”
Today’s 23 grant recipients include:
- New Hampshire
- Best Buddies International (Manchester)
- Future in Sight (Concord)
- Gateways Community Services (Nashua)
- New Hampshire Catholic Charities/New Hampshire Food Bank (Manchester)
- Palace Theatre Trust (Manchester)
- Reach for the Top Therapy Services (Dover)
- Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region (Laconia)
- Tilton-Northfield Recreation Council (Tilton)
- Waypoint (Manchester)
- Webster House (Manchester)
- Starfish Connection, Inc. (Stamford)
- The Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley (Gardiner)
- Camp Sunshine of Sebago Lake (Casco)
- The Center for Grieving Children (Portland)
- The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness (Portland)
- The Well of Mars Hill Maine (Westfield)
- The Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest (Marlborough)
- Dreams for Emily (Taunton)
- The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (Lynn)
- Merrimack Valley Food Bank (Lowell)
- The Sports Museum of New England (Boston)
- Windrush Farm (North Andover)
- Rhode Island
- The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Rhode Island (Cumberland)
SCCNH is one of seven chapters around the country, and combined in 2021, Speedway Children’s Charities distributed more than $2 million in grants to 259 different charitable organizations across the country, bringing the total funds distributed since 1982 to more than $61.5 million, ensuring many children in need are given the tools to build a better, brighter and healthy future. The money raised comes in large part thanks to the fundraising efforts of seven Speedway Motorsports facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NHMS, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.
Fundraising for 2022 grants has already begun during the 11th annual Gift of Lights, open nightly through Jan. 2 at NHMS. A portion of the proceeds from Gift of Lights admissions and all proceeds from s’more kit purchases will benefit SCCNH. The 2.5-mile drive-thru light show featuring 3.5 million LED lights, opens at 4:30 p.m. nightly, depending on the weather. Admission is available for purchase online for $30-35 per car or $60 per bus or limousine. SCCNH has raised $341,883 from Gift of Lights since 2011.
— NHMS —