FORT WORTH, Texas (August 10, 2012) – Texas Motor Speedway volunteers put the finishing touches on an outdoor transformation at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth’s Butler Branch as part of the speedway’s month-long Speeding to Help community outreach program.
Volunteers, along with more than 30 children from the Boys & Girls Club, dug in to help landscape the branch’s new playground funded by a grant from Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter. The group teamed up to plant flowers and shrubs and spread mulch along the entrance of the playground. Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, along with students from the club, officially opened up the new-look playground with a special ribbon cutting that kicked off the fifth year of Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding to Help community outreach program.
“They don’t have a park nearby that they can go to, so having this beautiful landscape around the playground is great,” Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth Chief Operating Officer Jim Larkin said. “It means a lot. By getting to participate in planting these bushes and flowers, they are going to get to enjoy that for a long time to come.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth was the recipient of a $125,000 Founder’s Grant during Speedway Children’s Charities’ annual Christmas Tree Lighting last November. The organization has served the Fort Worth area since 1926 and assists more than 12,000 youth and their families across its six branches. Its Butler Branch, located in a Fort Worth Housing Authority community, serves one of the highest-risk youth populations and previously lacked an area for children to play.
With just a large field and track, the organization looked to Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter for help. The grant allowed the branch to build a new haven for the kids to enjoy, which now features a climbing wall, monkey bars and three slides.
“Wow, a park for us!”10-year-old Shacarya said when she first saw the playground. “You can run around, play tag, race and you can do a tournament. Before we had this park, we had to do it all in the field.”
Texas Motor Speedway’s visit to the Butler Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth is the first of five visits TMS employees will make as part of Speeding to Help. On Thursday, Aug. 16, volunteers will visit the Dallas Zoo and help spruce up the JC Penny Discovery House Exhibit.
The program continues with a visit to the Tarrant Area Food Bank on Wednesday, Aug. 22, followed by an event with 6 Stones on Tuesday, Aug. 28, where volunteers will help distribute a truckload of non-perishable food and personal supplies that will aid 400 families in the area. Speeding to Help concludes Friday, Aug. 31, as Texas Motor Speedway will announce the expansion of its NASCAR-themed, incentive-based "Speeding to Read" educational program at the Northwest High School football stadium.