Joliet, Ill. — December 6, 2016 — Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway’s charitable entity, Racing Advocates for Community Enrichment (R.A.C.E.), donated $30,000 in grants to 15 Will County and Chicagoland area charities today at their year-end luncheon, raising its total charitable gifts in 2016 to $49,720.50.
Such gifts do not include the $228,359.13 distributed by Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway and its concessions partner, Levy Restaurants, through contributions to 43 local service groups. Teams of volunteers helped each agency staff positions throughout the NHRA and NASCAR event weekends. In the end, the organizations provided a total of $278,079.63 in donations to deserving community organizations.
“As the fifth year of R.A.C.E. comes to a close, it is incredibly gratifying to observe the sheer number of local nonprofit organizations Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway have been able to support each year,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. “We are particularly delighted to use R.A.C.E. as a platform to broadcast the remarkable contributions these organizations provide to their communities.”
Santa’s Cops, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties, Special Connections of Grundy County, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, Morris Cruise Night, Special Olympics Illinois, Grundy Resource Organization, Miracle League of Joliet, Pink Heals, United Way of Will County, Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission, South Suburban Family Shelter, Wade’s World Foundation and Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community were all selected and recognized for their notable contributions to the community in which they serve.
Among the organizations that applied for grant assistance this season, Route 66 Raceway expanded on an earlier commitment to 12 nonprofit organizations. As part of the D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic event that took place in August, twelve dignitaries who serve Will and Grundy Counties participated in a series of “grudge match” races against their county counterparts. Each dignitary raced on behalf of a local charity of their choosing and organizations linked to the winning drivers now received a $2,000 grant, while those linked to drivers in the runner-up position received a $1,500 grant donation.
The aforementioned 15 groups were awarded grants Tuesday:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties received $3,000 to help children reach their potential their full potential through one-to-one relationships with mentors. The funds will help provide memorable experiences for the pair.
- Grundy Resource Organization received $1,500 to promote and provide fresh produce to seniors, people with disabilities and low income families in and around Grundy County.
- Miracle League of Joliet received $2,000 to provide children and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to play and participate in the game of baseball.
- Morris Cruise Night has grown substantially into one of the largest of its kind in the Chicagoland area. The organization received $2,000 as each month, the Morris Cruise Night committee selects a charitable organization to benefit from the series of events, sell 50/50 raffle tickets and display material at a booth each month.
- Muscular Dystrophy Association received $1,500 to send children with neuromuscular disease to MDA’s summer camp where they can discover a world created specifically for them, and meet many other kids sharing the same needs and experiences.
- Pink Heals Joliet Area Chapter received $2,000 to continue their mission of raising awareness and funds for families currently battling cancer as well as for other nonprofit organizations that assist those battling cancer.
- Santa’s Cops received $2,000 to make the holidays a little merrier for local children in need. Several police officers will volunteer and participate in the Joliet Police Department annual “Shop with a Cop” event. Those who volunteer will escort local kids on a shopping spree for Christmas.
- Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission received $3,000 to support the Children’s Community Garden/Green Sprout Urban Farm Program. This program is a grassroots initiative in partnership with the Warren-Sharpe Community Center which is designed to educate the youth about agriculture, healthy food choices and increase physical activity along with supporting their food pantry.
- South Suburban Family Shelter received $1,500 to increase their sustainability and to enhance the effectiveness of therapeutic treatment in their Children’s Counseling Program.
- Special Connections of Grundy County received $1,500 to connect people with disabilities to their community through social interactions, education, recreational opportunities and shared information.
- Special Olympics Illinois received $2,000 to provide children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports.
- United Way of Will County received $2,000 to help unite communities and resources by empowering people and creating positive, sustainable change.
- Wade’s World Foundation received $2,500 to support their LIVE TO DREAM program which was developed to provide high quality programming, events, and opportunities for youth in Chicago, primarily in the West Pullman and Roseland communities.
- Will County Children's Advocacy Center received $1,500 to provide services to young victims of sexual and physical abuse. Services The Center provides include implementing child-sensitive interviews for law enforcement purposes, counseling, medical exams, legal advocacy and community resource referrals.
- Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community received $2,000 to fund Lions Quest, a program that helps young people develop the skills to deal with emotions constructively, make responsible decisions and set positive goals that lead to healthy, responsible lives free from the harms of drug abuse, bullying and violence.
Lastly, the Bolingbrook Explorers Post #38 was presented with a check for $3,548 for their leading part in staffing 50/50 raffles at both Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. The Bolingbrook Explorers alone sold over $34,000 in raffle tickets between the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in July 2016 and the NASCAR Premier Series weekend in September.
R.A.C.E. is a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation, a 501c3 charitable entity. With a focus on youth, safe driving and the military, R.A.C.E. raised funds over the course of the year through community events, raffles and auctions. The three principles guided the seven-member R.A.C.E. Advisory Committee, which was responsible for evaluating grant applications throughout the year.