The Infineon Raceway Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities will distribute $280,879 to 43 qualified youth organizations in Sonoma County for the 2009 season.

The chapter has distributed more than $3.3 million since 2002, including a one-year record of $554,045 in 2005. The chapter's Board of Trustees recently approved the distribution of funds at its annual meeting.

Speedway Children's Charities is the charitable arm of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which owns and operates Infineon Raceway.

"Taking care of the homeless children in Sonoma County is our highest priority," said John Records, executive director for Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) in Petaluma. "We're deeply grateful for Speedway Children's Charities' donation, which will help COTS provide specially-trained teachers for over 100 homeless children, to support their emotional and social development."

The monies awarded in 2009 were generated through a combination of events held during the raceway's major-event weekends, including the Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet and the Race & Rock Charity Auction, which combined to raise more than $90,000. Both were held during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in June. The 5th annual Classic Sports Racing Group's (CSRG) Charity Challenge generated an additional $50,000.

In all, the chapter hosted 11 events in 2009, primarily tied to the raceway's motor-racing weekends. The chapter also received national funding and individual contributions.

Speedway Children's Charities is a non-profit organization with the purpose of raising funds to be distributed to qualified children's organizations. Founded in 1984 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Speedway Children's Charities originated at Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

Forty-three youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children's Charities in 2009, some of which include:

Bob Burke's Kids; California Parenting Institute; California Youth Outreach; CASA; Children's Cancer Community; Community Action Partnership; Committee on the Shelterless; Forget Me Not Children's Services; Giant Steps Therapeutic Center; Grandparents Parenting Again; Hanna Boys Center; La Luz Center; Lifeworks; McDowell Drug Task Force; Martial Arts Youth Institute; Matrix Parent Network; North Bay Children's Center; Social Advocates for Youth; Sonoma County YMCA; Petaluma People Services; Redwood Empire Food Bank; REFPA Support Services; River to Coast Children's Center; Roseland University Prep; Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance; Sunny Hills Service; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation; The Living Room; United Against Sexual Assault; United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay; Valley of the Moon Boys and Girls Club; Valley of the Moon Children's Foundation; Valley of the Moon Teen Center; Valley of the Moon Teen Parent Support Organization; Willmar Center; and Worth Our Weight.

"Speedway Children's Charities' ongoing financial support provides critical opportunities for the children at the Living Room to have experiences that they will store in their memories for years to come," said Karla Fittapaldi, program coordinator for the Mother and Child Program. "This funding has provided picnics, trips to movies, swimming and magic shows. We could not provide this programming without the charity's support."

For more information on the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, email Denise Silver at dsilver@infineonraceway.com or call 707-933-3950.