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Speedway Children's Charities gives nearly $250,000 in grants

LOUDON — Gov. Maggie Hassan and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas helped New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials and the New Hampshire chapter of the Speedway Children’s Charities distribute nearly a quarter million dollars to 56 nonprofit organizations throughout New England during an annual grant distribution presentation at the Palace Theatre on Thursday.

The $243,838 in grants, which will benefit more than 103,000 children in the Northeast, is the largest one-year total since the New Hampshire chapter began this holiday tradition in 2010. In four years, the speedway and SCC have donated nearly $700,000, supporting nearly 190,000 children in the region.

“This is a really special day,” said Cheryl LaPrade, director of SCC’s New Hampshire Chapter. “Every single day, this is what we work for. We are blessed to have such impactful organizations across New England helping kids in need.”

This year’s event welcomed more than 150 representatives from 56 organizations to the nearly 100-year-old playhouse, which with its current production of “A Christmas Carol” gracing the stage daily, was an ideal setting.

“This is what the holiday season is all about, and it makes me very proud to stand here today with an opportunity to give something back,” said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. “We are very thankful for what you do to impact the lives of others every day.”

Both Hassan and Gatsas stressed the importance of what this money will do for the Granite State as a whole and for the Queen City.

“It’s an honor for me to be here this afternoon,” said Hassan. “The speedway truly is a corporate citizen in New Hampshire, in every sense of the word. The Speedway Children’s Charities is a great example of our tradition in New Hampshire of caring for each other.”