Charitable events combined to raise more than $95,000 for Northern California non-profit groups during the 31st Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, July 27-29.
The proceeds from the majority of events will 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 qualified youth groups since 2001.
Fundraising kicked off on Thursday, July 26, at the 12th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night at Viansa Sonoma, which generated more than $35,400 for Sonoma County children. The evening honors the memory of Medlen, a native of Oakdale in the San Joaquin Valley, who succumbed to injuries sustained from a testing accident in 2007, and all proceeds from the evening benefit SCC in Medlen’s name. Since its inception, this event has raised more than $303,400.
This year’s event focused on honoring someone within the drag racing community who embodies Medlen’s best qualities and has shown support of charitable efforts. The first SCC Eric Medlen Spirit Award was given to 2016 NHRA Funny Car Champion Ron Capps.
Special guests of the evening included Capps, emcee Jack Beckman, Scotty Pollacheck, Brandon Bernstein and J.R. Todd who helped auction off ticket and experience packages generously provided by Ron Capps, which all together netted $12,550. More than 100 attendees turned out for the dinner, including Medlen’s mother, Mimi, and his father, John.
Additionally, $1,460 was raised from donations at the Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 29. Following the final round of eliminations, fans were invited to enjoy a free scoop of ice cream, compliments of Clover Sonoma, and make a donation to SCC. Speedway Children’s Charities also netted donations through the “Let’s Go Karting” charity raffle and the “Cash for Kids” display.
In addition to the proceeds generated for SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted eight 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 California Martial Arts Institute, Casa Grande Cheer, Petaluma Elks Lodge, Native Sons of the Golden West, O’hana Wa’a Outrigger Canoe Club, Rohnert Park-Cotati Cheer, Santa Rosa Cheer and Vallejo Raiders Youth Football, received a total of $57,392 from NHRA weekend concession sales.
For more information about the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and future charitable events 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 to fundraise at an upcoming event, contact Kimberly Conte at kconte@Levyrestaurants.com or 707-939-1454.