Fifty-five Sonoma County non-profit organizations will benefit from nearly $380,000 in grants that were recently awarded by the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC), the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway.

In total, $379,357 was distributed to youth-serving organizations in Sonoma County, bringing the chapter's grand total to more than $5.1 million granted to Sonoma County youth groups since 2001.The chapter's Board of Trustees recently approved the distribution of 2015 funds at its annual meeting.

SCC raised $387,268 through 13 fundraising events in 2015, an increase of more than $130,000 from the prior year. The monies were primarily generated through events held during the raceway's major-event weekends, including NASCAR, NHRA and IndyCar. Highlights of the year included the Children's Champions NASCAR Grand Marshal's Banquet and the Ride of a Lifetime NASCAR Charity Auction, which combined to raise more than $95,000 during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in June. The 11th annual Classic Sports Racing Group's (CSRG) Charity Challenge generated another $37,300 for the Sonoma chapter and the 21st annual 3J's Motorcycle Track Day helped raise an additional $20,500.

"YouThrive greatly appreciates the support of Sonoma Raceway and Speedway Children's Charities over the past eight years," said Bob Florez, director of the YouThrive Program at Sunny Hills Services. "Through this support, we have been able to enrich and expose many young people to opportunities to develop more well rounded and pro-social skills. We have been able to do this through our counseling groups and outdoor wilderness trips and also through exposure to the racing community and its events at Sonoma Raceway."

Speedway Children's Charities is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for qualified children's organizations. Founded in 1984 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., SCC originated at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina and now boasts eight chapters at SMI facilities throughout the country.

The following 55 Sonoma County youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children's Charities in 2015: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay; Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County; Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley; California Parenting Institute; Committee on the Shelterless (COTS); Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County; Conservation Corps North Bay; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Sonoma County; DeMeo Teen Club Inc.; Fence at the Top, Inc.; Forget Me Not Children's Services; Friends in Sonoma Helping; Girl Scouts of Northern California; Girls on the Run Sonoma County; Habitat for Humanity International Inc.; Hanna Boys Center; The Healthy Community Consortium; Hope Counseling Services; Jewish Community Free Clinic; La Luz Center; LandPaths; Legal Aid of Sonoma County; LifeWorks of Sonoma County; Loco Bloco; Martial Arts Youth Institute; Matrix, a Parent Network and Resource Center; McDowell Drug Task Force; Mentor Me Petaluma; New Vision Santa Rosa Foundation; North Bay Children's Center, Inc.; On the Move; Pediatric Dental Initiative of the North Coast; Petaluma Health Center; Petaluma People Services Center; Polly Klaas Foundation; Presbyterian Church of the Roses; Redwood Empire Food Bank; Redwood Empire Foster Parent Association; River to Coast Children's Services; Roseland Charter School; Santa Rosa Community Health Centers; Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital; Social Advocates for Youth (SAY); Sonoma County Family YMCA; Sonoma County Public Library Foundation; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (Sonoma Valley School Garden Project); Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance; Sunny Hills Services; Teen Services Sonoma; The Ceres Community Project; The Living Room; The Salvation Army; Valley of the Moon Children's Home Foundation; Verity and the Young Women's Christian Association of Sonoma County.

For more information on the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, visit www.racesonoma.com/scc or contact Cheri Plattner at cplattner@racesonoma.com or 707-933-3950.