Providing the perfect setting for holiday cheer and benevolence, the Palace Theatre on Thursday once again served as a fitting host for Speedway Children's Charities' annual grant distribution. The 2015 total of $252,435 put the New Hampshire chapter's grand total at more than $1.2 million since the first distribution back in 2009.
Joining New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager David McGrath and SCC New Hampshire chapter director Cheryl LaPrade were New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who helped hand out checks to the 60 New England nonprofit organizations, benefiting more than 110,000 children.
"We wouldn't be able to provide these grants without the help of so many people," said LaPrade. "This is always a very special day for me to be standing here in front of all of you. Your efforts, all year-round, don't go unnoticed - thank you for all that you do."
Over the last seven years, NHMS and SCC have helped support nearly 285,000 children across New England.
"I'm so very proud to be associated with this wonderful organization. I'm the proud product of a large family, there were 11 of us, and programs like the Boys & Girls Club were a big part of our lives growing up," said McGrath. "We know the work doesn't stop today. This is the fruit of this year's efforts, and with Cheryl at the helm it will be a very successful 2016."
This year's event welcomed more than 150 representatives from the 60 organizations to the Palace Theatre in downtown Manchester.
"It's fitting that I'm here today on the set of 'A Christmas Carol.' Today speaks to the message of the holidays and the commitment we have to each other year-round," said Hassan. "This time of year, the days are shortest, darkness is all around us and it gets cold. But we overcome that darkness by coming together and reinforcing the strength that we as human beings give each other. And it all starts and ends with the great work of everyone in this room here today."
"I visit a lot of our programs here in the city and I know the tough times that they have. These checks they will be receiving make a huge difference," said Gatsas, noting the 12 non-profit programs in the Manchester area that received grant checks. "The speedway does a great job of raising these dollars and a big reason for that is from the fans that go to the races. We are very thankful of those fans generous contributions."
New Hampshire is one of eight SCC chapters in the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) family. This year, the eight chapters raised close to $3 million to help children in need across the country. Since its inception in 1982, SCC has awarded more than $44 million to nonprofit organizations.
Money raised through the New Hampshire Chapter includes events such as the "One for the Kids" Golf Tournament, NASCAR Champions Breakfast, Red Bucket Brigade (July and September), Driver Memorabilia Auction, Lobster Bake, Track Walk and the Safe Kids 500, as well as both NASCAR weekends.
Speedway Children's Charities is a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1982 with the mission: to care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. There are eight SCC chapters across the United States, representing the communities surrounding SMI speedways. Each chapter is run independently with the purpose of helping children in need within its local region.
The 2015 nonprofit organizations receiving checks include:
Camp Sunshine at Sebago Lake, Inc. - Casco, Maine
Girls on the Run-Maine - Portland, Maine

Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence - Lawrence, Mass.
Boys & Girls Club of Lowell - Lowell, Mass.
Boys & Girls Club of Metro West, Inc. - Marlborough, Mass.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Brookline, Mass.
Family Services of Merrimack Valley, Inc. - Lawrence, Mass.
Lazarus House, Inc. - Lawrence, Mass.
Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Inc. - Lowell, Mass.
The SHINE Initiative c/o Community Foundation - Leominster, Mass.

New Hampshire
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire - Manchester, N.H.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Concord - Concord, N.H.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua -Nashua, N.H.
Boys & Girls of the North Country -Littleton, N.H.
Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley - Milford, N.H.
Capitol Region Food Program - Concord, N.H.
Child and Family Services of New Hampshire - Manchester, N.H.
Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock - Lebanon, N.H.
City Year, Inc. -Manchester, N.H.
Community Alliance for Teen Safety - Derry, N.H.
Concord Community Music School -Concord, N.H.
Concord Family YMCA - Concord, N.H.
Concord Hospital Trust -Concord, N.H.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire - Manchester, N.H.
David's House -Lebanon, N.H.
Easter Seals New Hampshire, Inc. - Manchester, N.H.
End 68 Hours of Hunger - Somersworth, N.H.
Granite State Adaptive - Mirror Lake, N.H.
Granite State Children's Alliance - Nashua, N.H.
Injury Prevention Center of NH (Trustees of Dartmouth) - Lebanon, N.H.
Inti Soccer Academy - Manchester, N.H.
Lil' Iguana's Children's Safety Foundation - Nashua, N.H.
LRGHealthcare - Laconia, N.H.
Mary and John Elliot Charitable Foundation - Manchester, N.H.
Mayhew - Bristol, N.H.
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Corp. - Concord, N.H.
Mental Health Center of Southern New Hampshire - Derry, N.H.
Muscular Dystrophy Association - Manchester, N.H.
New Hampshire Catholic Charities - Manchester, N.H.
New Hampshire Children's Trust, Inc. - Concord, N.H.
New Hampshire Kids Count, Inc. - Concord, N.H.
On Belay, Inc. - Durham, N.H.
Ossipee Children's Fund -Center Ossipee, N.H.
Palace Theater Trust - Manchester, N.H.
Reach for the Top Therapy Services - Dover, N.H.
The Circle Program - Plymouth, N.H.
The Granite YMCA  - Manchester, N.H.
The Upper Room:  A Family Resource Center - Derry, N.H.
The Webster House - Manchester, N.H.
Tilton-Northfield Recreation Council - Northfield, N.H.
UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. - Goffstown, N.H.
Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Nashua - Merrimack, N.H.
Zebra Crossings - Dover, N.H.
Rhode Island
Foster Forward - East Providence, R.I.

Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro, Brattleboro
Race to Read - Waterbury, Vt.