More than 500 children-in-need in the Martinsville and Henry County area will receive Christmas gifts this year, thanks to the more than $17,300 and 306 toys donated as a part of the 24th annual Martinsville Speedway Christmas Toy Drive.
The toy drive, which benefits Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County, was held on December 8th at the Speedway. People could donate a new toy or $20 for the opportunity to drive their personal car around the Half Mile of Mayhem, or pay $60 to ride with Speedway President Clay Campbell in a two-seater NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race truck.
"Each year I'm amazed at how many people come out and support the Toy Drive," Speedway President Clay Campbell said. "This is an event that we, as a staff, believe in, but really it shows how much the people care about each other. While we host the event, it would not be possible without local businesses and the people who come out and participate."
For the first time, Grace Network worked through the local schools to identify children in need. The network, which is made up of more than 200 area churches, ended up with 528 children on their list.
"We are so grateful," Grace Network Executive Director Tracy Hinchcliff said. "I would like to thank the Speedway and all of the people who came out to drive their cars and spend time with family to support the Toy Drive. I'm always taken aback at how many people come out to support people in need."
In addition to the hundreds of individuals who participated, Appalachian Electric Power (AEP), Bassett Furniture and Patrick Henry Community College all made significant donations to the Toy Drive.
For information on how to support Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County, visit www.gracenetworkmhc.org.
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