Speedway events lined up to benefit charity

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM

The March NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway are two weeks away, but spring race fundraising for the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and the local youth service organizations it supports is already under way.

The SCC Bristol chapter’s online “Ultimate Experience Auction” of behind-the-scenes NASCAR experiences at Bristol kicked off this week and will run through March 11 at bristol.speedwaycharities.org.

Fans are invited to bid on ticket and coveted NASCAR race-experience packages including an opportunity to wave the green flag for the Food City 500’s qualifying event, to sit in on the pre-race drivers’ meeting, to ride around the track with Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick or Tony Stewart during driver introductions, to join PRN broadcaster Rob Albright as a guest spotter on the BMS rooftop, to visit the Food City 500 winner in Victory Lane and to celebrate in the Pit Road Party Zone.

Tickets are on sale and still available for Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300 benefit dinner for SCC to be held in the Bruton Smith building at BMS on Friday, March 15. Tickets are $125 per person and include a traditional southern meal, a selection of wines and a live auction of NASCAR specialty items and surprises. Table sponsorships are $1,200 and include eight seats, a table sign and acknowledgments. Reservations and sponsorship information may be obtained by calling Betsy Holleman at 989-6975 or emailing betsy@bristolmotorspeedway.com

Richard Petty Driving Experience Ride-Alongs to help support the work of the local SCC chapter and the Petty family’s Victory Junction Gang camp for kids with serious illnesses will be in Bristol during the March 15 Ford Fan Race Night at the track. The cost of driving a race car along the high banks of Bristol or riding along at race speed with a professional driver is $159 per person. Riders must be at least 14 years old, at least 4 feet tall, at least 80 pounds and pre-registered by phone at 1-800-BE-PETTY or online at www.1800bepetty.com.

Track Laps for Kids, for race fans who dream about piloting their own car around the famed Bristol oval, will be held Thursday, March 14, from 8:30-10:30 p.m. The cost is $35 for five laps. For more information or to register, visit www.bristol.speedwaycharities.com.

The SCC Cornhole Classic tournament at BMS will be held March 15-17. The cost is $40 per team and includes a commemorative T-shirt for every team member. The tournament’s championship team will receive $500, suite seats and a camping spot for the Irwin Tools 500 and Food City 250 night races in August. Teams may register in advance at www.bristol.speedwaycharities.com.

More information about any of the benefits may also be obtained by calling the track toll-free at 866-415-4158 or online at www.bristoltix.com.

Honor Flight of Northeast Tennessee is set to take its next troop of World War II veterans on a tour of the nation’s war memorials in April, and Bob Evans restaurant, 2801 Boones Creek Road, has planned a couple of daylong benefits next week to help make the trip possible.

From 9 a.m.-9 p.m. March 7 and again March 9, 15 percent of all purchases made at the restaurant with vouchers provided at the door by Honor Flight volunteers will help send a group of local veterans on a free VIP trip to D.C. April 12-14. Live entertainment will be provided on both days of the benefit by Elvis & Marilyn impersonators Jimmy and Mary Fields and by Jerry Pierce and the Nightlife Band. Mickey & Minnie Mouse will also be making appearances for younger diners.

American Legion Post No. 24 is also helping with the Honor Flight trip and will host a couple of benefit breakfasts March 15 and 16, from 6-11 a.m. at the post at 409 E. Market St. The cost is $5.50 for adults and $2.50 for children 12 and under.

And finally, University Parkway Baptist Church will host a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance for Honor Flight on March 16 at the church at 219 University Parkway. Doors will open at 5 p.m. An Irish dinner will be served at 6. Dancing with live music by Jerry Pierce and the Nightlife Band will begin at 7. Tickets are $20 and may be reserved by calling Edie Lowry at 816-351-0811. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization that depends entirely on private donations and community fundraising to honor U.S. war veterans with free tours of the national memorials to the wars they fought. To learn more about Honor Flight or to secure a trip for a local veteran, call Lowry at 816-351-0811 or visit www.honorflightnetn.com. Donations may be made at the website or by mail to Honor Flight of Northeast Tennessee, 1005 Opekiska Ext., Erwin, TN 37658.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with,

contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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