Best Year Yet for Local Nonprofits Benefiting From a Successful Gift of Lights
The generosity of all those who attended the Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane and Oil at New Hampshire Motor Speedway proved the holiday season truly is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" with record donations for local nonprofits. Loudon Food Pantry can provide more than 18,000 meals as a result of food and monetary donations received during Gift of Lights, over $4,000 was raised by the Loudon Firefighters Association and more than $34,000 is going to Speedway Children's Charities New Hampshire Chapter as a result of the Yule Light Up The Night run/walk and proceeds collected from Gift of Lights admissions.
Gift of Lights visitors received a discount on their admission when they brought at least three non-perishable food items to donate to the Loudon Food Pantry, and some chose to donate cash. These donations contributed to a total of 7,934 pounds of food and $2,940, which, when combined, will provide 18,370 meals. This is the biggest year yet in eight seasons and an increase of 6,670 meals over last year.
"We are overcome with gratitude after receiving the tremendous amount of food and monetary donations from this year's Gift of Lights," said Sue Houck, president of the Loudon Food Pantry. "The winter time is always a tougher time for those served by our food pantry, but the extreme generosity of our local community during the holiday season truly helps to make a real difference."
Since the Gift of Lights first started in 2011, food and monetary donations have allowed NHMS to donate more than 93,000 pounds of food to the Loudon Food Pantry, which has provided more than 88,000 meals to locals during the holiday and winter months.
The Loudon Firefighters Association hosted a s'mores pit on Friday and Saturday nights during Gift of Lights for a monetary donation. This resulted in $4,033 for the Loudon Firefighters Association, which they'll add to their Off Road Utility Vehicle fund. They are trying to raise $50,000 to purchase a UTV for wildland firefighting efforts, off road rescues and searches for missing individuals. The funds will purchase a purpose-built machine with a small water tank and pump as well as the capacity to transport a patient out of the wilderness. The unit is equipped with tracks, and a portion of the funds will be used to purchase an enclosed trailer to transport the unit and act as a command post during incidents.
This year's $4,033 donation is an increase of $1,633 from 2017's collection of $2,400. The Loudon Firefighters Association has hosted the s'mores pit during Gift of Lights for two years now, collecting a total of $6,433.
Speedway Children's Charities New Hampshire Chapter, which raises money for children in need throughout New England, received a portion of each car's admission and a portion of the proceeds from the Yule Light Up The Night run/walk put on by Millennium Running. The grand total for this year was $34,721, making it the biggest Gift of Lights fundraiser for SCCNH.
Speedway Children's Charities New Hampshire Chapter distributed $75,190 in grants last year, and since its inception in 2009, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and SCCNH have distributed more than $1.7 million ($220,476 of this total coming from Gift of Lights donations since 2011) supporting more than 749,000 children in the local community.
The Gift of Lights presented by Eastern Propane and Oil, which has seen just shy of 100,000 cars since it started in 2011, is a 2.5-mile drive-thru light show, which transforms New Hampshire Motor Speedway into a winter wonderland with over 60 scenes, 400 displays and two million LED lights. Attendance for the event, which ran from Nov. 23 - Dec. 31, 2018, was up an estimated 3.28% from 2017 and ranked as the second most highly-attended Gift of Lights seasons since it began eight years ago.
For ticket information for events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the June 8-16 Motorcycle Week at NHMS, the July 19-21 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend and the September 20-21 Full Throttle Fall Weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.