With Governor Maggie Hassan and Mayor Ted Gatsas serving as holiday helpers, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities distributed nearly a quarter million dollars to 56 non-profit organizations throughout New England during the fourth annual grant distribution presentation at the Palace Theatre on Thursday.
The grand total of $243,838, which will benefit over 103,000 children in the Northeast, is the largest one-year total since the SCC N.H. Chapter began this holiday tradition back in 2010. In four years, NHMS and the SCC have donated nearly $700,000, supporting nearly 190,000 children in the region.
"This is a really special day," said Cheryl LaPrade, director of the SCC's New Hampshire Chapter. "Every single day this is what we work for. We are blessed to have such and impactful organizations across New England helping kids in need."
This year's event, which welcomed more than 150 representatives from the 56 organizations was held at the historic Palace Theatre, which first opened its doors in 1915. In an area that once had 22 theatres, the nearly 100-year-old playhouse is the only that remains. And with its current production of "A Christmas Carol" gracing the stage daily, it was an ideal setting.
"This is what the holiday season is all about, and it makes me very proud to stand here today with an opportunity to give something back," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "We are very thankful for what you do to impact the lives of others every day."
Both Hassan and Gatsas stressed the importance of what this money will do for the Granite State as a whole and the Queen City, respectively.
"It's an honor for me to be here this afternoon," said Hassan. "The speedway truly is a corporate citizen in New Hampshire, in every sense of the word. The Speedway Children's Charities is a great example of our tradition in New Hampshire of caring for each other."
"The main essential ingredient (of SCC) is how do we help kids? And that's so important," said Gatsas, who noted that a total of nine non-profit programs in the Manchester area received checks. "When you can go out and say $240,000 is going into the region to help children; that is ever-so important."
Since 1982, the eight SCC chapters across the country have raised over $40.9 million dollars.
Money raised through the New Hampshire Chapter includes events such as the "One for the Kids" Golf Tournament, NASCAR Champions Breakfast, Red Bucket Brigade (July and September), Driver Memorabilia Auction, Lobster Bake, Motorcycle Appreciation Ride, Track Walks and the Safe Kids 500, as well as the 2013 Camping World RV Sales 301 and SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends. The 56 non-profit organizations include:
The Avielle Foundation, Newtown
Ben's Lighthouse, Newtown
Camp Sunshine at Sebago Lake, Inc., Casco
The Center for Grieving Children, Portland
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Inc., Lowell
Boys & Girls Club of Metro West, Inc., Marlborough
Family Service, Inc., Lawrence
Groundwork Lawrence, Inc., Lawrence
Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Inc., Lowell
Roca, Inc., Chelsea
SHINE Initiative, Leominster
Valley Resident for Improvement, Inc., Worcester
Boys & Girls Club of Derry, Derry
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester, Inc., Manchester
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western New Hampshire, Keene
Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region, Laconia
Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, Manchester
Boys & Girls Club of Nashua, Nashua
Boys & Girls Club of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth
Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Salem
Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, Milford
Capital Region Food Program, Concord
Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, Manchester
Children's Dyslexia Centers, Inc., Nashua
Children's Hopsital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (MHMH), Lebanon
The Children's Museum of New Hampshire, Dover
The Children's Place and Parent Education Center, Concord
Circle Program, Plymouth
Concord Boys & Girls Club, Concord
Concord Community Music School, Concord
Concord Hospital Trust, Concord
Copper Cannon Corporation, Franconia
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Hampshire, Inc., Manchester
David's House, Lebanon
Easter Seals New Hampshire, Inc., Manchester
Granite State Children's Alliance (Merrimack County Advocacy Center), Nashua
Injury Prevention Center, Lebanon
Kismet Rock Foundation, North Conway
Lakes Region Community Services Council, Laconia
Mary And John Elliot Charitable Foundation, Manchester
McAulliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Corporation, Concord
Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc., Bedford
New Generation, Inc., Greenland
New Hampshire Aviation Historical Society, Londonderry
New Hampshire Catholic Charities, Manchester
New Hampshire's Children's Trust, Inc., Concord
Tilton-Northfield Recreation Council, Northfield
Tiny Twisters Child Care Center, Franklin
University of New Hampshire, Durham
UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, Goffstown
Webster House, Manchester
YMCA of Greater Manchester, Manchester
YMCA of Nashua, Merrimack
Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro, Brattleboro
Children's Literacy Foundation, Waterbury Center