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TMS EMPLOYEES, SANTA CLAUS BRIGHTEN HOLIDAY SEASON FOR DALLAS-AREA FAMILIES

FORT WORTH, Texas (December 10, 2015) – Texas Motor Speedway employees joined Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter to take the stress and strain of preparing for the holiday season for two Dallas-area families coping with the loss of loved ones in the past year. 

I>n partnership with the Do It For Durrett Foundation that assists DFW-area families impacted by sudden loss, Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children’s Charities spent Wednesday afternoon personally bringing the holiday spirit to the homes of the Dugger and Durrett families in Frisco and Wylie, respectively. 

Speedway employees arrived at the homes and took care of the indoor and outdoor preparations, bringing with them Christmas lights, inflatable 10-foot snowmen, Christmas trees and ornaments as well as gifts for each of the family members. 

“Richard (Durrett) always put the lights up and last year at nine months pregnant that wasn’t something I was going to try and tackle,” Kelly Durrett said of her late husband. “It’s so nice to have that again. For the kids to see it again, when they saw it when we drove up they were so excited. And when they looked out the window after it got dark they were screaming because they were so excited to see the lights.” 

The day was culminated by a special visit by Santa Claus with the children of both families at their homes. Santa visited with six-year-old Evan Dugger and his four-year-old brother, Ryan, and gave them their first-ever bicycles as an early Christmas present.  In Wylie, Santa presented bikes to seven-year-old Owen Durrett along with his sisters, five-year-old Alice and 11-month-old Margot. 

Saint Nick also provide mothers Kelly Durrett and Lauren Dugger each with a gift certificate for a massage at The Speedway Club as well as a supermarket gift card to purchase a holiday feast for the family. 

“Evan and Ryan were so excited to see all of the decorations and presents,” Lauren Dugger said. “They were speechless when Santa showed up. This has just been an amazing day. We are so thankful to Texas Motor Speedway and the Speedway Children’s Charities for doing this for us. We are so appreciative of everything they have done for our family.” 

The visits were part of the efforts of Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children’s Charities to honor the legacy of former Dallas/Fort Worth sports reporter Richard Durrett, who unexpectedly passed away in 2014 at the age of 38. Following his death, the Do It For Durrett Foundation was formed to continue his legacy. The organization was created with a mission to raise funds for Dallas/Fort Worth-area, working-class families impacted by sudden loss of a family member. 

“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with the Do It For Durrett Foundation to help families that have suffered a sudden loss and also honor Richard’s legacy,” Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. “We wanted to take the stress out of setting up for Christmas for these two families. We thought it would be fun for the families for us to decorate and have Santa stop by to visit with the kids. For us as individuals as well as a company, to have a little impact in their lives during this time and add some joy during the holiday season is an incredible feeling.” 

The Duggers are one of several families the foundation already has helped after they lost their husband and father Jason, who passed away in 2014. For Lauren, the generosity shown to her family this holiday season makes for a lasting impression on her two children. 

“I feel a lot of responsibility to do a really good job raising them since he (Jason) is not here to do that,” she said. “We’re so grateful for it and it just makes it magic and I want the holidays to remain magical for them.” 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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