Fundraising events combined to raise more than $76,000 for local youth groups during the Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway, Sept. 14-16.
Proceeds from the majority of events will directly benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), the charitable arm of the raceway, which has distributed more than $6 million to local youth-serving non-profit groups since 2001.
The INDYCAR Grand Prix Salute kicked off the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship weekend at Andretti Winery in Napa with a festive evening of generous bidding on silent and live auctions. SCC and the Michael Andretti Foundation partnered to host the event, which included a star-studded evening with a Q&A session featuring Andretti Autosport drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi, and teammates Patricio O’Ward and Zach Veach, as well as three generations of Andrettis: Mario, Michael and Marco. The event, which included a reception and a sit-down dinner, raised more than $60,000 for SCC.
The SCC INDYCAR online charity auction, which featured autographed memorabilia, unique collectibles and weekend VIP experiences, reeled in $4,000 prior to the weekend. The three-day race weekend generated an additional $1,000 through various donations.
In addition to the proceeds raised for SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted seven local non-profit groups to support concession stands around the facility. In return for their hard work, Levy gives back a portion of sales to support those non-profit organizations. These groups, including the Benicia High School Band Boosters Club, California Martial Arts, Casa Grande High School Cheer, Cotati Rohnert Park Cheer, North Bay Elite All-Star Cheer, Santa Rosa High School Cheer and the Vallejo High School Raiders Youth Football and Cheer Program, received a total of $11,967 from the Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend.
The next Speedway Children’s Charities event is the 15th annual Classic Sports Racing Group (CSRG) Charity Challenge, Oct. 5-7. SCC and CSRG will team up to host an incredible collection of vintage cars that will hit the track for a full weekend of racing on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course. Tickets are $12 Saturday and Sunday and $20 for a 2-day pass. Over the past 14 years, CSRG has donated $910,000 to SCC through the Charity Challenge race weekend. Please join us in the Race to $1 Million in October!
For more information about the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities or to make a donation, visit SonomaRaceway.com/scc or contact Cheri Plattner at (707) 933-3950 or cplattner@SonomaRaceway.com. If your non-profit group is interested in working with Levy Restaurants at an upcoming event, contact Kimberly Conte at kconte@Levyrestaurants.com or 707-939-1454.