The holiday spirit filled The Palace Theatre in Manchester, N.H. Thursday 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 14th annual Grant Distribution Ceremony. Grants were handed out to 40 local nonprofits totaling $131,750 in front of the festive backdrop from “A Christmas Carol.”

“The list of recipients today are among the wonderful organizations that make New Hampshire and New England special,” said Craig as she addressed the grant recipients during the ceremony. “I’d like to offer a special thanks to those who donated time and money to the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, and thank you all for your dedication and service to children.”

Since its inception in 2009, SCCNH has distributed more than $2.25 million, supporting more than 1.4 million children throughout the region.

“I always say there’s no higher calling than helping kids in need around the country,” said New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath. “I see the faces of these folks when they walk across the stage and receive that money, and you can see that gleam in their eye that their hard work is being rewarded. Well so is ours, and all that effort we put in to those events and raising those funds for all of the organizations. It’s such a meaningful, thoughtful, and it’s really, quite frankly, an emotional time, and we love it, and I wish I could do it every week!”

The grants distributed today resulted from fundraising opportunities and events that took place between November 2022 and October 2023 including Gift of Lights presented by Ambetter, the Dale Jr. Foundation Safe Kids 301, the all-new Top Cop for Kids Motorcycle Skills Challenge presented by Laconia Harley-Davidson with the help of ProRider 603, three Laps for Charity events, a motorcycle Ride to the Racetrack from Laconia Harley-Davidson, the third annual 50/50 Raffle during the speedway’s summer NASCAR weekend, Track Walk, Reser’s Fine Foods Cornhole Tournament and the Wicked Good Live Auction. SCCNH also presented the opportunity for race fans to Sign the Track Wall Banner prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race and teamed up with Murph’s NH to create and sell a collection of unique reusable bags made from recycled banners that were displayed during major events at “The Magic Mile.”

SCCNH Chapter Director Danielle Cyr created the Thousand Friends Challenge and personally raised more than $4,000 for SCCNH through her participation in an Ironman Triathlon earlier this year. That, along with corporate donations from Crayon, who supports Speedway Children’s Charities at not only NHMS but also many other Speedway Motorsports facilities; Toyota Motor North America, who hosted car shows to support SCCNH, and several donations from New England race fans enhanced the overall total for the year.

“We had such an amazing 2023, I mean, we’re over the moon, we’re thrilled,” said Cyr, who also serves as New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Director of Marketing. “We had needs spanning from children without beds to children who are hungry and ones that help with summer camp costs and all sorts of things. We almost doubled the amount of organizations that we were able to help year-over-year, so it’s fantastic.”

The 40 grant recipients include:

  • New Hampshire
    • Best Buddies in New Hampshire (Bedford)
    • Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire (Stratham)
    • Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua (Nashua)
    • The Bridge Project (Lincoln)
    • Easter Seals New Hampshire (Manchester)
    • Families in Transition New Hampshire (Manchester)
    • Friends of Aine (Manchester)
    • Girls Inc. of New Hampshire (Manchester)
    • Greater Seacoast Community Health (Portsmouth)
    • HAVEN – Violence Prevention and Support Services (Portsmouth)
    • Lakes Region Santa Fund (Gilford)
    • Mary and John Elliot Charitable Foundation (Bedford)
    • Nashua Police Athletic League (Nashua)
    • New Hampshire Catholic Charities (Manchester)
    • Palace Theatre Trust (Manchester)
    • Safari Youth Club (Manchester)
    • The Salvation Army Carey House (Laconia)
    • Sleep in Heavenly Peace (Hillsborough, Rochester and Sullivan counties)
    • Tilton-Northfield Recreation Council (Tilton)
    • Twin Rivers Food Pantry (Franklin)
    • Waypoint (Manchester)
    • Webster House Children’s Home (Manchester)
  • Connecticut
    • The Stamford Hospital (Stamford)
  • Maine
    • Camp Sunshine of Sebago Lake (Casco)
    • The Cromwell Center for Disabilities Awareness (Portland)
    • Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems | Eastern Main Medical Center | North Light Eastern Maine Medical Center (Bangor)
    • Susan L. Curtis Foundation | Camp Susan Curtis (Portland)
  • Massachusetts
    • Boys and Girls Club of MetroWest (Marlborough)
    • Camp Words Unspoken (Westfield)
    • Dreams for Emily (Taunton)
    • In the Hour of Need Family Shelter | Friendly House (Worcester)
    • Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (Lynn)
    • Revitalize Community Development Corporation (Springfield)
    • Slappy and Monday’s Foundation for Laughter | Laughter League (Suffolk County, Mass. and Providence County, R.I.)
    • The Sports Museum of New England (Boston)
    • The Treehouse Foundation (Easthampton)
    • YMCA of Metro North (Peabody)
  • Rhode Island
    • Boys and Girls Club of Northern Rhode Island (Cumberland)
    • Gotta Have Sole Foundation (Cranston)
    • Slappy and Monday’s Foundation for Laughter | Laughter League (Suffolk County, Mass. and Providence County, R.I.)
  • Vermont
    • Vermont Foodbank (Barre)

SCCNH is one of 11 chapters around the country, and combined in 2023, Speedway Children’s Charities distributed more than $4.2 million in grants to hundreds of different charitable organizations across the country, bringing the total funds distributed since 1982 to more than $69 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 11 Speedway Motorsports facilities and events: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dover Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NASCAR at COTA, Nashville Superspeedway, NHMS, North Wilkesboro Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.

Fundraising for 2024 grants has already begun during the 13th annual Gift of Lights presented by Ambetter and Wellcare, open nightly through Dec. 31 at NHMS. A portion of the proceeds from Gift of Lights admissions, race registrations from the Yule Light Up The Night Run/Walk and 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 $35 per car or $60 per bus, limousine or RV. SCCNH has raised $411,392 from Gift of Lights since 2011.

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