Charity Events Raise $165,000 for Speedway Children's Charities During NASCAR Weekend
SONOMA, Calif. (June 25, 2007) - It was a banner weekend for Sonoma County youth groups as two events held during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup weekend combined to raise more than $165,000 for Speedway Children's Charities.
The Raceway Builder's NASCAR Grand Marshal's Banquet generated $101,000, while the 5th annual Race-n-Rock Charity Auction raised $64,200. All proceeds will benefit qualified youth groups in Sonoma County through Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway.
The total marked a one-year record since the raceway began hosting both charitable events on the same weekend in 2002.
The Grand Marshal's Banquet was held on Friday night of race weekend at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma and honored former NFL star Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in history and a three-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers (1985-2000). The sit-down dinner attracted more than 500 people, including NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Kyle Petty and Michael Waltrip.
The top-selling item in the charity auction, which took place on Sunday in the Wine Country Winner's Circle, was a Budweiser racing helmet signed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($4,000). A Snap-on Tools toolbox netted $3,950, while a lap around the track with Earnhardt Jr. during pre-event ceremonies sold for $3,400.
The Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities has distributed more than $2.1 million to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County since 2002, including more than $500,000 each of the last two years.