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Sue Guinn Legg

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$50,000 Jeff Byrd Grant to benefit agency helping children

August 4th, 2011 3:50 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

The Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities on Wednesday announced a new $50,000 Jeff Byrd Grant to be awarded annually to a nonprofit agency serving children in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Established in honor of Bristol Motor Speedway’s longtime president and general manager Jeff Byrd, who died last year, the grant is being made available to nonprofit youth service agencies in the 16-county area surrounding the speedway served by the local SCC chapter.
Applications are available online at and must be submitted by Sept. 15. The first Jeff Byrd Grant recipient will be announced Nov. 17 at SCC’s annual Night of Smiles grant awards ceremony at the race track.
Claudia Byrd, executive director of the SCC’s Bristol Chapter and Byrd’s wife of 36 years, said this grant embodies her late husband’s “ceaseless devotion to helping those less fortunate, particularly children.”
Over the past 13 years, the Bristol Chapter of SCC has raised and distributed more than $6 million to dozens of nonprofit agencies serving children Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, including a record $650,000 awarded to 84 local service agencies last year.
Recipients in the greater Johnson City area include the Boys & Girls Club, Rise Up (Boys to Men), Coalition for Kids, Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Carter County Foster Care Association, the Children’s Advocacy Center, East Tennessee Christian Home, Girls Inc., Girls on the Run, Good Samaritan Ministries, Hands On! Regional Museum, Safe Passage Domestic Violence Shelter, Small Miracles Therapeutic Riding Center and many others.
The funds are generated annually through SCC-sponsored events, including the annual Speedway in Lights holiday light show and the annual Sharky 500 rubber shark race that for the past several years has netted the winner the official BMS Ford Mustang GT pace car, valued this year more than $32,000.
The new SCC Jeff Byrd grant is available to nonprofit agencies serving children in Carter, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in Tennessee and Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise counties in Virginia.
More information about the new grant is available at the SCC website or may be obtained by calling the SCC office at 423-6974.

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