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Sat, 08 Dec 2012, 12:28 PM

Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities Distributes $269,000 to Youth Groups
Courtesy of Diana Brennan

SONOMA, Calif. -- The Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities will distribute $269,680 to 38 youth organizations in Sonoma County for the 2012 season.

The chapter's Board of Trustees recently approved the distribution of funds at its annual meeting. Speedway Children's Charities is the charitable arm of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns and operates Sonoma Raceway.

The monies awarded in 2012 were generated through a combination of events held during the raceway's major-event weekends, including the Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet and the eBay Motors NASCAR Charity Auction, which combined to raise more than $76,000. Both were held during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in June. The 8th annual Classic Sports Racing Group's (CSRG) Charity Challenge generated an additional $36,700.

The chapter has distributed more than $4.3 million since 2001. In all, the chapter hosted 11 events in 2012.

"We have more families on the waiting list for emergency shelter than we've seen in any of the past three winters," said Chuck Fernandez, executive director of Catholic Charities of the diocese of Santa Rosa. "This new grant will fund our Family Support Center, where we provide emergency housing and support services to help homeless children and their families get back under a roof of their own."

Speedway Children's Charities is a non-profit organization with the purpose of raising funds to be distributed to qualified children's organizations. Founded in 1984 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Speedway Children's Charities originated at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

The following thirty-eight Sonoma County youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children's Charities in 2012:

Boys and Girls Club of Marin and Southern Sonoma County; Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley; California Parenting Institute; California Youth Outreach; Catholic Charities; Committee on the Shelterless (COTS); Conservation Corps North Bay; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); DeMeo Teen Club; FENCE at the Top, Inc.; Hanna Boys Center; La Luz Center; LandPaths; LifeWorks of Sonoma County; Martial Arts Youth Institute; Matrix A Parent Network & Resource Center; Mentor Me Petaluma; North Bay Children's Center; On the Move; Petaluma People Services; Redwood Community Health Coalition; Redwood Empire Food Bank; Roseland Charter School; Santa Rosa Community Health Centers; Social Advocates for Youth; Sonoma County Family YMCA; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (Kid Scoop); Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance; Sonoma Valley Teen Services; Sunny Hills Services; The Living Room; The Salvation Army; Verity; Valley of the Moon Children's Foundation; Willmar Family Grief and Healing Center; Worth Our Weight and the YWCA of Sonoma County.

For more information on the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, visit or contact Denise Silver at or 707-933-3950.

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