Tuesday, December 3, 2019 marked a significant day on the NASCAR calendar, one that demonstrates the true power and scope of our sport.
Amidst the excitement of the start of the holiday season, and the kick off to our first-ever NASCAR Champions Week in Nashville, members of our NASCAR community across the country paused for a moment and celebrated the national Giving Tuesday observance by participating The NASCAR Foundation’s third-annual Speedy Bear Brigade.
Volunteers from our NASCAR family across the country have come together to deliver The NASCAR Foundation’s Speedy Bears to local children’s hospitals and clinics in our racing communities.
The initiative has grown from 14 participating locations in its first year to more than 30 locations coast-to-coast in 2019, surpassing a total of 2,500 Speedy Bears delivered to children spending the holiday season in the hospital.
This year, the effort has even expanded as far as the great state of Alaska and into Canada. And it will take the national stage when 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch makes a stop at a children’s hospital as part of Champions Week in Nashville.
Each Speedy Bear delivery takes on a life of its own – generating a multitude of stories demonstrating the impact this effort has not only on the children who receive the bears, but also on the volunteers who participate.
NASCAR driver Jennifer Jo Cobb joined Kansas Speedway to kick off the campaign by visiting the University of Kansas Health System.
An honor to be able to visit these amazing kids! ??@nascar_fdn RT @kansasspeedway: The Speedy Bear Brigade and Jennifer Jo Cobb helped to brighten the day for a few of the littlest patients at the University of Kansas Health System today! pic.twitter.com/sNxssBwz99
— Jennifer Jo Cobb (@JenJoCobb) December 2, 2019
In the Charlotte area, NASCAR drivers Austin Cindric, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Vargas, Chase Cabre, Gracie Trotter and Nick Sanchez joined volunteers from the NASCAR offices in Charlotte and Concord, as well as Motor Racing Network and Racing Electronics to deliver bears to 4 hospital locations.
Got to be a small part of the @NASCAR_FDN #SpeedyBearBrigade today for #GivingTuesday @LevineChildrens in CLT. Seeing the kids faces light up every time we handed out a Speedy Bear was truly amazing.#NASCAR pic.twitter.com/CldpgghY0q
— John Hunter Nemechek (@JHNemechek) December 3, 2019
– Team Penske (@Team_Penske) December 3, 2019
ISM Raceway enlisted the help of local up-and-coming drivers Sara Houston and brothers Jagger and Jace Jones to bring Speedy Bears to children at Banner Children’s Hospital in Glendale.
What a fun way to celebrate #GivingTuesday
Thanks to the @NASCAR_FDN for providing the teddy bears that @jaggerjones98, @sarahouston91 + Jace Jones were able to hand out to some children at the Banner Children’s Hospital in Glendale! ?#Speediatrics // #SpeedyBearBrigade pic.twitter.com/URtOuSmiWO
– ISM Raceway (@ISMRaceway) December 4, 2019
Other participating locations include: Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway, Watkins Glen International, Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, NASCAR Headquarters in Daytona, NASCAR New York Office, Iowa Speedway, Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway, ARCA Headquarters, Alaska Raceway, Berlin Raceway, Edmonton International Raceway, Flatrock Speedway, New Smyrna Speedway, Seekonk Speedway, Thunderbird Speedway and Toledo Speedway.
Speedy Bear deliveries will continue to take place through the holiday season and into January.