Charitable programs combined to raise more than $216,000 for local youth groups during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 24-26.
The proceeds from the majority of events will benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway, which has distributed more than $5.1 million to local youth-serving non-profit groups since 2001.
The Children’s Champions Grand Marshal Banquet was held on Friday, June 24, at Cline Cellars in Sonoma and featured Grand Marshall Ruben Armiñana, the longest-tenured president of the California State University system. The sold-out sit-down dinner also featured a race preview by FOX’s NASCAR broadcast team, including Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Michael Waltrip. Proceeds from the banquet benefit Speedway Children’s Charities and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.
Overall, the banquet generated more than $156,000, while the Ride-of-a-Lifetime Online Charity Auction raised over $10,000. A live auction was also held the night of the banquet for a special NASCAR Race-Day Experience, which included a meet and greet with the NASCAR on FOX broadcast team and a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Hollywood Hotel. In addition, a special Pixar Studios package included a CARS-themed gift basket and a private tour of the Emeryville headquarters. Both packages combined to bring in nearly $15,000.
More than $25,000 was also raised through various donations during the weekend, including a $5,000 donation on behalf of the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association (TDMA), which participated in the 6th annual NASCAR Hauler Parade in Sacramento on June 23. Great Clips raised over $6,000 in donations throughout the weekend at its mobile hair salon in the main paddock.
NASCAR on Fox analysts Michael Waltrip and Larry McReynolds, Linda McReynolds and Steve Page (left to right).
The NASCAR weekend provides an excellent opportunity to leverage the generosity of our fans, sponsors and other partners to help support good work in the community, said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. We are grateful to all who participated and to the wonderful non-profit groups who are elevating the lives of young people in the North Bay.
In addition to the proceeds generated for SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted eight local non-profit groups to support concession stands around the facility. In return for their hard work, Levy gives back a portion of sales to support those non-profit organizations. These groups, including Benicia High School Band Boosters, California Martial Arts, Fairfield High School Athletics, Native Sons of the Golden West, Petaluma Cheer, O’hana Wa’a Outrigger Club and Vallejo Raiders Youth Football program received a total of over $31,000 after NASCAR weekend.
Levy Restaurants also donated nearly 2,500 pounds of food to Food Runners, a San Francisco-based non-profit that collects and distributes quality, perishable and prepared foods to those in need.