RIR Cares’ Day of Giving Awards Deserving Organizations with Grants

Eight Grants Totaling $35,000 Distributed to Recipients in Richmond Region

Day of Giving


Richmond International Raceway’s (RIR) charitable arm RIR Cares presents its annual Day of Giving today. Eight grants totaling $35,000 will be awarded to deserving organizations in the Richmond community. This year’s eight grants are the most awarded in the track’s history. RIR Cares is a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation.

Organizations throughout the Richmond area submitted applications to receive a grant from RIR Cares. The applications were reviewed by the RIR Cares Grant Committee for selection. The organizations receiving grants this year include: DRIVE SMART Virginia, Higher Achievement, Northside YMCA, Sportable, Team Excel, Virginia Dental Association Foundation, Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Youth Life Foundation of Richmond.

“Giving back to the Richmond community plays a significant role in what we do at RIR,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. “Community is one of our core values as a track and we make sure we give back to the community that supports us. Whether it’s monetary donations or volunteer hours, we strive to lend Richmond a helping hand.”

DRIVE SMART Virginia’s goal is to raise awareness of safe driving along Virginia roadways. Through public information and education initiatives, this non-profit organization strives to make the roads safer for all Virginians.

Higher Achievement Richmond offers middle school students in the city of Richmond and Henrico County an opportunity to get on the right track for college. Through afterschool and summer learning, mentors, and a belief of high expectations, Higher Achievement sets students up for future success. High Achievement is an enrollment program, meaning students must apply and meet certain criteria to participate.

Northside YMCA is focused on growing the potential of every child and community member within the area. The Northside YMCA allows youth, adults, families and communities to be healthy, confident, connected and secure.

Sportable aims to change the lives of people with physical and visual disabilities through sports. By providing adaptive sports and recreation opportunities in Richmond, Sportable is able to transform the lives of many people.

TEAM EXCEL is a “reverse” Fantasy Football where students become the athletes, and professional athletes and community mentors draft the students and serve as team coaches. Every week students receive individual and team scores based on their grades, attendance, and community service.

Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDAF) provides dental services for Virginians with financial troubles. VDAF gathers dental professionals and the entire community to provide various programs for approximately 7,500 people throughout the year.

Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) focuses on providing neighborhood transformations and influencing public policy on community development. As a regional leader, LISC aims to support successful neighborhood changes.

Youth Life Foundation of Richmond strives to develop leaders by investing in children from at-risk communities. By helping students academically, crafting their character from a young age, elevating expectations, and providing dedicated mentoring relationships, children are able to rise above their circumstances.

“Each of these organizations make Richmond a better place,” said Denise Shafer, Manager of Community Relations. “They do special work for our community and provide resources for children and adults. The grants from RIR Cares will support further developing these programs for the betterment of Richmond.”

Through numerous volunteer opportunities in 2016, RIR employees logged over 600 volunteer hours. These hours were accumulated through volunteering at events including Junior Achievement, Read Across America, Celtic Festival, USO at Richmond International Airport, National Night Out, and Henrico County Community Cleanup.

RIR Cares held multiple fundraisers throughout the year, including Track Laps events and the Turn Left Golf Classic. RIR Cares partners with the Richmond Flying Squirrels Charities to present the Turn Left Golf Classic each year. As the signature event on the RIR Cares fundraising calendar, the event raises funds for organizations in our area.

RIR Cares is preparing for a busy 2017. The Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run is a new event around our spring race weekend. Participants will run around RIR’s property and its historic track surface on Thursday, April 27. This is just days prior to when some of NASCAR’S best take to America’s Premier Short Track for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Cup Series race and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Registration for the 5K is now open at rir.com/5k.

Additional RIR Cares events scheduled for 2017 include the return of our Track Laps events, Speed Into Science STEM event, National Night Out, and the Turn Left Golf Classic. More events and details will be announced.

For more information on all RIR Cares does for the Richmond community, please visit rir.com/rircares.

NASCAR returns to Richmond on April 28-30 for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Richmond will once again be in the spotlight for the regular-season finale and Fan Appreciation Weekend on September 8-9. The Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday, September 9, and the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday, September 8 is presented by Who’s Your Driver.

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