TMS Media Relations | Dec 03, 2013
FORT WORTH, Texas (Dec. 3, 2013) – Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter officially ushered in the holiday season Tuesday by awarding more than $915,000 in grants to Dallas/Fort Worth-area non-profit organizations during its annual Christmas tree lighting and grant ceremony at Texas Motor Speedway.
With “The Biggest Living Christmas Tree In The Metroplex” serving as the centerpiece, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter with assistance from Santa Claus lit the 66-foot tall Douglas fir tree presented by Ben E. Keith Foods to kick off its grant ceremony. The Christmas tree was just part of a festive evening that included carols sung by the Keller Middle School Mixed Choir & Choralaires, the arrival of Santa on Texas Motor Speedway’s Wild Asphalt Circus motorized recliner and even a “surprise” snowfall. The highlight of the evening featured a historic benchmark for Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter as the organization awarded its largest single grant totaling $500,000 to the Dallas-based Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center.
The fundraising efforts of Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter during its partnership with the Silver Dollar at the Ranch presented by PrimeLending in May paved the way for the charity to award the historic grant to the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center.
The non-profit cancer research center has been conducting cancer research for over 20 years and will utilize this grant to advance innovative treatment options for children with cancer through ongoing clinical trials and preclinical research that is designed to accelerate promising new discoveries.
“Mary Crowley’s vision is to leverage our successful track record of adult cancer research in gene, cellular and immune therapies to benefit children with Ewing’s Sarcoma and other types of childhood cancers,” Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center Executive Medical Director Dr. John Nemunaitis said.
The evening included the tradition of providing special Founder’s Grants to organizations looking to fund much-need capital improvement projects. The Fort Worth Public Library and Camp John Marc became the 11th and 12th non-profit organizations, respectively, to receive Founder’s Grant and they each received $125,000 for their projects.
For the Fort Worth Public Library, the grant will assist in developing a “Fast Track to Reading” corner of the Hazel Harvey Peace Youth Center of the Central Library in downtown Fort Worth. The library wing will include a racing-themed setting with murals of race cars on the walls, along with books and interactive learning tools that revolve around motorsports.
“‘Fast Track to Reading’ will welcome young children with developmentally appropriate activities and materials which encourage play, learning and socialization,” Assistant Library Director Sheila Scullock said. “We are so pleased to receive this gift.”
Camp John Marc has continued to help chronically ill and disabled children for 23 years. The camp allows children battling illness or disability the opportunity to experience the thrill of the outdoors all while doing so with the presence of medical care nearby. The 170-acre camp is located 85 miles southwest of Dallas in Bosque County and serves the state, but more than 95 percent of the campers hail from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
The Founder’s Grant will allow Camp John Marc to build a 2,568-square-foot cabin that will be used by campers, families and physicians year round. The new housing will ensure it is able to meet the medical needs of campers in a high-quality manner and will allow up to 44 more families each year to participate in family camp programs.
“This housing will allow us to better meet the medical needs of Camp John Marc campers and significantly increase the number of families we are able to serve at fall and spring weekend camps,” Camp John Marc Assistant Director Annie Stewart said. “The grant from Speedway Children’s Charities will allow more campers to experience the magic of camp each year and will ensure their medical needs are well met while they are at camp.”
Speedway Children’s Charities presented five other organizations with Partner Grants ranging from $5,000 to $24,000. The recipients of this year’s Partner Grants are:
The Christmas celebration culminated with the distribution of 100 children’s bikes to Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter partner organizations and patients of the area hospitals – Cook Children’s, Medical City Children’s Hospital and Children’s Medical Center – that will benefit from the funds generated during next year’s Silver Dollar at the Ranch event. Along with bikes, children were able to decorate their own Christmas ornament courtesy of Michaels.
Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter has played a significant role in the lives of children in the four North Texas counties it serves – Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant. The organization has distributed more than $9.4 million in grants and has touched the lives of more than three million children. To illustrate the impact, you could fill the grandstands of Texas Motor Speedway 16 times with the number of children that have benefited from the charity’s support.