Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter distributed $1 million to North Texas non-profit organizations for the second consecutive year during Monday's annual grant ceremony and tree lighting at Texas Motor Speedway.

The most significant gifts among the 38 received were the new Founder's Grants, which were awarded to a non-profit organization in the four North Texas counties - Dallas, Denton, Tarrant and Collin - that Speedway Children's Charities serves. These grants range between $125,000 and $150,000, and are targeted to assist those organizations with major capital projects.

"Considering the difficult economy this past year, we are extremely proud of the fact that Speedway Children's Charities will be distributing $1 million for the second year in a row to deserving organizations in our area," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "After hearing the plans of the organizations that will receive Founder's Grants, it is quite apparent that those grants will make a sizeable impact and help them further serve those in need in our communities. We appreciate all those people that were part of Speedway Children's Charities events throughout the year and your generosity allowed them to reach such a lofty goal."

The Founder's Grants are named in honor of four distinguished leaders of Speedway Children's Charities - Bruton Smith, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. CEO/chairman and founder of Speedway Children's Charities; Maj. General Thomas Sadler, SCC national executive director; Betty Rutherford, SCC-Texas founding president; and Gossage, who established the SCC-Texas Chapter when the speedway opened in 1997.

The inaugural class of Founder's Grant recipients consists of:

-Children's Medical Center, the Dallas County-based hospital that received the Bruton Smith Speedway Children's Charities Founder's Grant for $125,000.

-Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County, which received the Eddie Gossage Speedway Children's Charities Founder's Grant for $150,000.

-Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County, which received the Betty Rutherford Speedway Children's Charities Founder's Grant for $150,000.

-Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, a Tarrant County-based organization that received the Maj. General Thomas Sadler Speedway Children's Charities Founder's Grant for $125,000.

The Children's Medical Center will utilize the grant to equip a patient room in the hospital's new 29,000-square-foot neonatal intensive care unit. The gift will help Children's Medical Center provide the highest level of medical care in a nurturing environment to the most fragile infants in the region. The hospital anticipates that up to 2,000 infants annually, including those born with severe congenital anomalies, acute heart, lung, brain and intestinal diseases or extreme prematurity, will require this specialized care.

"Speedway Children's Charities' gift to equip a patient room in our new 36-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will provide a unique resource to families in North Texas," said Peter Kline, president of Children's Medical Center Foundation. "The NICU at Children's Medical Center cares for babies whose only chance at life is to access the higher levels of care only available at an academic Teaching hospital. These babies are not simply premature, they suffer from severe congenital problems such acute heart, lung, brain and intestinal anomalies. Hospitals throughout the region refer these patients to Children's, and this gift will help us respond to their calls for help."

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County will use the grant to purchase six new vans for their vehicle fleet to help transport children every day of the school year from more than 80 Collin County schools to its three Boys & Girls Club locations. The vans are an important piece of the organization's success as 80 percent of the club members come from single-parent homes and the parents are still working during the after-school hours. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County serve nearly 5,000 children annually.

"Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County is so honored to be a Founder's Grant recipient in its inaugural year," said Tanya Greene, chief executive officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County. "Speedway Children's Charities is changing the lives of our children and improving our communities through its continued support of vital service agencies. The grant awarded to BGCCC allows us to purchase a fleet of new buses, used to transport children from school to the Boys & Girls Club every day after school. Without this critical and safe transportation, our children would not have access to our life-changing and life-saving programs. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as caring, productive and responsible citizens. Speedway Children's Charities is a vital and outstanding partner that is committed to helping us achieve our mission."

The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County, a United Way agency that serves child victims of sexual abuse or very serious physical abuse, will utilize the grant to provide for a wing on their new 14,070-square-foot building in north Lewisville that was completed this summer. In 2008, the center and its staff provided more than 8,000 counseling services to abused children and their non-offending family members.

"We are very honored to be a recipient of this grant," said Dan Leal, executive director for the Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County. The funds will be used for a wing at our facility that helps kids that have faced child abuse. The new wing will have a ‘Pit Stop' room that will provide clothing and diapers for the families we serve. We think it's a perfect fit. The funds help with the facility that provides comfort to those that have been impacted by child abuse."

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington will use their grant for the construction and furnishings for the Main Branch Learning Center. The Learning Center will be the focal point of Project Bright Star, a 1-on-1 tutoring program targeting first- through fourth-graders that are failing or at risk of failing reading, writing and/or math. The project will serve more than 1,000 Tarrant County students annually, and the groundbreaking is scheduled for Wednesday.

"It's huge for what we are doing," said Steve Wurm, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington. "The funds will be used to build a new learning center and lab. Our organization targets the kids that need the help the most. Creating a new room that will provide a warm education environment, along with access to technology, will be beneficial. What's more important is that these funds will allow us to expand to help more kids. We are so excited. It means so much for the families and the kids. We look forward to the completion of this project."

In addition to the $550,000 of Speedway Children's Charities' funds that is earmarked for the Founder's Grants, 34 Partner Grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 were distributed and allowed SCC to reach $1 million in grants delivered for the second year in a row.

The following will received Partner Grants: a Wish with Wings, Inc.; All Church Home for Children, Inc.; Alliance for Children; Ann's Haven VNA (Visiting Nurse Association); Baylor Health Care System Foundation; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth; Buckner Children and Family Services, Inc.; Camp Summit, Inc.; Cancer Cares Services; Children's Medical Center; Community Storehouse; Cumberland Presbyterian Children's Home; Dallas Children's Advocacy Center; Dental Health Arlington; Dental Health Programs, Inc. dba Community Dental Care; Denton Kiwanis Children's Clinic; Easter Seals North Texas; Gill Children's Services, Inc.; GRACE; Hope's Door; Interfaith Ministries of Denton, Inc.; Metrocare Services; MHMR Visions; Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas; Oak Hill Academy; PediPlace Inc.; Performing Arts Fort Worth, Inc.; Prevent Blindness Texas- Fort Worth Branch; Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth; SafeHaven of Tarrant County; Tarrant Area Food Bank; Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; The Women's Center of Tarrant County, Inc.; What About Remembering Me Center, Inc. dba The WARM Place.

Since Speedway Children's Charities inception in 1997, the Texas Chapter has awarded $6.7 million to North Texas non-profit organizations in Dallas, Denton, Tarrant and Collin counties. The chapter raises the majority of its funds during the three major race weekends annually hosted by Texas Motor Speedway.

The grant ceremony is part of Texas Motor Speedway's annual tree lighting event that began when the speedway opened in 1997. "The Biggest Living Christmas Tree In The Metroplex," a Douglas fir that stands 56 feet tall and embellished with 3,500 lights and over-sized ornaments, is being sponsored by Ben E. Keith Foods kicked off the grant ceremony on the circular lawn in front of The Speedway Club building. The event also included special appearances by Santa Claus, the Wesley Singers of Flower Mound United Methodist Church and snow flurries throughout the evening.