BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) – A Tri-Cities non-profit has raised a record amount of money to help children in need.
That’s the announcement that came from the annual Night of Smiles at Bristol Motor Speedway Thursday evening.
The Night of Smiles is banquet dinner where Speedway Children’s Charities reveals how much it’s raised in the past year.
The organization gives the money to other charities in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
They raised $1,002,380, an early Christmas present and some holiday spirit for nearly 100 charities across 18 counties as the night of smiles continue to grow their nearly twenty year tradition.
“This money is going to put us into an arena for our kids to have an experience that absolutely is uncommon,” Director of Coalition for Kids Randy Hensley.
Hensley couldn’t be more thrilled that his non-profit is going home with a $50,000 check in honor of Jeff Byrd Grant.
A record breaking 96 charities came out for the Speedway’s Night of Smiles, full of sweet treats and Christmas spirit.
“It’s a culmination of a year’s hard work and our goal every year is to try and raise more money than we did the year before,” Executive Director of the Bristol Chapter of the Speedway Children’s Charities, Claudia Byrd said.
The Bristol Chapter set a record of over $1 million in fundraising. Events throughout the year like golf tournaments and children’s activities help bring in those dollars.
Byrd said this year’s Battle at Bristol was key in setting the record.
“It was great during the Battle at Bristol you know to have that opportunity to have more fundraisers and that helps us raise more money,” Byrd said.
Money that Byrd hopes will go far.
“They can’t do the things they want to do for these children without a little bit of extra money and that’s what we are there for,” Byrd said.
Byrd said their goal is to meet the needs of all of those who apply for grants and they’re going to keep working hard to put a smile on everyone’s face.
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