BRISTOL — Officials of the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC) announced on Thursday evening that it raised a significant total of $453,100 despite the challenges from a worldwide pandemic that hampered much of their fundraising efforts throughout the year.
Checks from that total were distributed during the annual Night of Smiles event (presented by State Water Heaters) to many rural-area, child-focused agencies throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The event was streamed live on the BMS Facebook page, and that recording remains available for viewing.
Representatives from agencies being honored toured the Pinnacle Speedway In Lights in their vehicles and then received their checks in a socially distanced manner from SCC-Bristol Executive Director Claudia Byrd, as cars crossed the start/finish line of the Bristol Motor Speedway oval.
“There’s no greater blessing than to be here at the Night of Smiles presented by State Water Heaters and help give away the money raised to area agencies that are going to help children in need in our community,” Byrd said. “This year has been especially challenging for us all given the pandemic, but we were able to forge ahead despite the obstacle. Although demand for assistance will always exceed our ability to assist, we’re so thankful to everyone who has donated and volunteered throughout the years to help us raise nearly $17 million. We would not be able to do this without your love and support.”
Night of Smiles presented by State Water Heaters is the culmination of a year of SCC fundraising events, including The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights, which opened for its 24th season.
Long hailed as the premier holiday display in the Appalachian Highlands Region, The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights powered by TVA spreads across a four-mile route illuminated by more than two million lights among 250 displays. A trip through the light show sends guests down historic Bristol Dragway and all throughout the property, culminating with a lap around the iconic BMS half-mile oval.
The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights runs through Saturday, Jan. 2. In addition to the Jingle Bell Lane presented by Citi fast pass option, the event costs $20 for cars from Sunday through Thursday and $25 on Friday and Saturday nights. For larger groups, vans are $50 and buses are $125.