Everyone knows everything is bigger in Texas and Texas Motor Speedway will once again prove that with its annual lighting of “The Biggest Living Christmas Tree in Texas” on Tuesday, Nov. 29, during the Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter grant ceremony.
A holiday-themed fireworks show, special visit by Santa Claus, distribution of 100 bicycles to less fortunate youth and nearly $200,000 in grants to North Texas organizations will highlight the event that will be held at The Speedway Club Circle at Texas Motor Speedway. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. CT and the event is free and open to the public.
A Texas Motor Speedway tradition since the facility opened in 1997, this year’s “Biggest Living Christmas Tree In Texas” is a 62-foot Norwegian Spruce from Michigan. The tree is decorated with 10,000 LED lights, oversized ornaments and topped with a 4’x4′ gold star featuring the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. corporate globe. The tree is sponsored by Ben E. Keith.
Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter has made a lasting impact on children in North Texas since its inception in 1997 by awarding more than $10 million in grants to area children’s organizations. The funds are raised through special events held throughout the year, with the majority of them centered on the three major race weeks at Texas Motor Speedway.
This year, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter will distribute nearly $200,000 with the highlight being the awarding of the Founder’s Grant. The $125,000 grant, which is SCC’s largest award, will be presented to The Parenting Center of Fort Worth. The organization will utilize the grant to construct a therapy playground for abused children. These specialty playgrounds give children a safe place to play and cope with the challenges they face.
The Parenting Center serves close to 20,000 clients each year from all income levels and social groups throughout Tarrant County. The center’s core belief is to empower families with the necessary knowledge and skills to lead them to develop and maintain healthy lives. The organization dedicates itself to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and is a leader in the field of parenting education and skills based training. They strive to provide individuals, families, schools and others with the tools they need to succeed together.
Additional grants, ranging between $1,500 and $25,000, will be awarded to CitySquare of Dallas, Denton Kiwanis Children’s Clinic, PediPlace, the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center and a Wish with Wings.
The chapter also will recognize its top volunteers for the year. Karen Landry will receive the President’s Award while the Dick Cerza Award will go to Mike Starr and the Team Texas High Performance Racing School.
The evening concludes with 100 Fort Worth-area children, representing agencies Hispano Exito (underprivileged children in south Fort Worth) and Journey To Dream (homeless youth), receiving bikes and helmets. The early Christmas presents are compliments of Target and Walmart, which donated the bikes and helmets to the event.
All guests attending the Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter grant ceremony that evening are can receive a voucher to go through the “Gift of Lights” holiday drive-through light display following the event for free. The “Gift of Lights” is a two-mile drive through the speedway that features over 150 new, lighted displays featuring three million LED lights and Santa’s Village. The price per carload will be reduced from $25 to $12.50 and can only be redeemed for that evening.