Local children in need received an early boost of holiday spirit Tuesday night. The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities distributed $500,000 in grants to 63 local child-related organizations during its annual grant distribution ceremony in the LocaliQ Digital Center at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hundreds of children and representatives from all 63 grant recipients attended the event, which included special appearances from LVMS's very own Pit Boss, Superheroes from Critical Care Comics and Santa Claus, who arrived on a fire truck with a squad car escort. In addition, each child received a toy that was provided by COACH South Premium Outlet & Schnitzer Properties. Finally, the children and their families were all allowed to drive through the Glittering Lights holiday light show at no cost.

"We look forward to this night every year," said Paulette Anderson, director of the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities " Our grant ceremony is our Academy Awards. All the funds we raise during the year are distributed to deserving organizations to meet the critical needs of all children."

Since the Las Vegas Chapter's charter in 1999, more than $5 million has been donated to children's organizations in Southern Nevada. This year’s fundraising season included Laps for Charity at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Drive for Charity Golf Tournament, the South Point Car and Truck Show presented by Star Nursery, Laps for Charity Under the Lights, the Oktoberfest Truck and car Show at The Orleans, the P.J. 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk and many fundraising opportunities during our NASCAR weekends.