SONOMA, Calif. (Aug 3, 2016) — Charitable events combined to raise more than $83,000 for Northern California non-profit groups during the 29th Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, July 29-31.

The proceeds from the majority of events will benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway, which has distributed more than $5.1 million to qualified youth groups since 2001.

Fundraising kicked off on Thursday, July 28, at the 10th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night, which raised more than $41,000. The evening honors the memory of Medlen, a native of Oakdale in the San Joaquin Valley, who succumbed to injuries sustained from a testing accident in 2007. All proceeds from the evening benefit SCC in Medlen's name. Since its inception, this event has raised more than $240,000.

A number of popular NHRA personalities highlighted the evening, including Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, John Force, Courtney Force, Ashley Force Hood, Scotty Pollacheck, Tony Pedregon and J.R. Todd, as well as Funny Car legend Don "The Snake" Prudhomme. More than 100 attendees turned out for the dinner at Bay Club Stone Tree Golf club in Novato, including Medlen's mother, Mimi, and his father, John.

Highlights of the evening included a wine and hors d' oeuvres reception sponsored by First Republic Bank, and a Texas Hold'em-style charity poker demonstration, presented by McDonald's and the Costa Organization. The evening closed out with a live auction for a custom, engraved wine bottle, a custom Medlen-themed helmet and signed case of Petron tequila, which netted more than $19,000.

Additionally, over $1,400 was raised from donations at the Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 31. Following the final round of eliminations, fans were invited to enjoy a free scoop of ice cream, compliments of Save Mart Supermarkets, and make a donation to SCC.

Throughout the weekend, more than $4,700 was also collected at two interactive fan booths, as Great Clips, which set up a mobile salon in the paddock, raised over $4,000, and the SCC "Little Wheels, Big Fun" raffle brought in nearly $700 in ticket sales.

The first-ever Speedway Children's Charities NHRA online auction, which featured race-weekend experiences and NHRA collectibles, raised another $1,000 for Sonoma County youth groups.

In addition to the proceeds generated for SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted seven local non-profit groups to support concession stands around the facility. In return for their hard work, Levy gives back a portion of sales to support those non-profit organizations. These groups, including California Martial Arts Institute, Fairfield Falcons Youth Football, Native Sons of the Golden West, O 'Hana Wa'a outrigger Club, Petaluma High School Cheer, Rancho Cotati High School Cheer and Vallejo Raiders Youth Football, received a total of nearly $35,000 from NHRA weekend.

Levy Restaurants also donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food to Food Runners, a San Francisco-based non-profit that collects and distributes quality, perishable and prepared foods to those in need.

For more information about the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities or to make a donation, visit or contact Cheri Plattner at (707) 933-3950 or [email protected]. If your non-profit group is interested in working with Levy Restaurants at an upcoming event, contact Kimberly Conte at [email protected] or 707-939-1454.