An ice rink minus the ice isn't a whole lot of fun, so when the ice chiller at Bristol Motor Speedway Ice Rink in Bristol, TN started showing its age, getting a replacement was high on the agenda. Since the ice rink operates as part of Speedway Children's Charities (SCC), spending the money to purchase a new ice chiller outright was not an ideal option.

The charitable arm of Bristol Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., SCC is a nonprofit charity serving 18 counties in Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. SCC offers financial support and guidance for groups that provide children with educational, medical, domestic, and many other kinds of assistance. One of the most unique aspects of the SCC is that, with the generosity of the Bristol Motor Speedway covering administrative overhead, 100% of the donations are given back to the community. Recent grant recipients include nearly 100 organizations dubbed "Half-Mile Heroes," ranging from the Kyle Busch Foundation to Habitat for Humanity to multiple Boys & Girls Club chapters.

The Bristol Motor Speedway Ice Rink is a large part of those efforts. As the only ice rink in a 90-minute driving radius, it serves as a hub for families and winter sports enthusiasts from all around the area. Featuring open skating sessions and the hugely popular Speedway In Lights holiday light display, the rink is both a pillar of the community and a consistently powerful fundraiser for SCC.

Last year alone, SCC provided 93 children's nonprofit organizations with over $800,000 in donations, with the skating rink staging as the single biggest fundraising event of the year. "Just by purchasing the opportunity to skate you're helping kids in need all over our region," said Betsy Holleman, Senior Manager of Development and Events for Speedway Children's Charities.

Before the 2018 skating season, the need for a new ice chiller was evident. The facility had been using the same chiller since the rink opened 14 years earlier, and it was starting to behave erratically. "It wasn't making ice appropriately, it would cut off randomly, just the normal wear and tear you get with something you've had for years and years," said Holleman. This was potentially a major problem for the operation. "We were in desperate need of a new chiller. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to open the ice rink."

Daikin was alerted to SCC's situation by sales engineer Brett Harris of Hoffman and Hoffman, a trusted HVAC vendor, partner of both organizations, and long-standing title sponsor at HVAC, Inc. "Our longtime partners, Hoffman and Hoffman and HVAC, Inc., who work very closely with Daikin on a day-to-day basis, thought that Daikin would be interested in getting involved and helping us with a new chiller," said Holleman. "Daikin immediately jumped on the opportunity to help us."

With the assistance of Hoffman and Hoffman, Daikin secured a new Trailblazer AGZ130E scroll chiller for donation to Bristol Motor Speedway Ice Rink. The two companies worked together to get the unit shipped, installed, and operating before the rink's mid-November opening. "Hoffman and Hoffman worked out the delivery and all the installation, and helped our team get it going," said Holleman.

The donation was a big relief for an organization that operates with minimal overhead. "We try not to have very much expense with our winter events," Holleman said. "Sometimes there has to be, but we do our best to get whatever we can donated."

The 2018-2019 skating season at Bristol Motor Speedway Ice Rink was another success, with high attendance and an influx of cash that will be distributed via grants to more than 90 nonprofits. The Trailblazer chiller performed flawlessly. "It was a great season, and we wouldn't have been able to open without that," said Holleman. "We had a lot of problems with our old chiller last year. We had our team working overtime to fix things. This year, no problems. The ice chilled quicker and we didn't have any issues."

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