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Todd Smith – 2019 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Finalist

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More about Todd and his cause: Todd has volunteered for 11 years. He founded Fuel for Success after attending a race in 2007 at Auto Club Speedway, an experience that compelled him to start a youth program centered on NASCAR. Fuel for Success strives to give youth meaningful experiences that are centered on mentorship, education and recreation. The primary focus of those experiences is introducing at-risk youth to NASCAR while creating better relationships between youth and the police officers they encounter daily. Fuel for success has grown to the point where it now impacts thousands of children nationwide. Todd is a police officer at the Colton (California) Police Department, serving at a local high school. Todd has been a NASCAR fan for 12 years, since attending that ACS event; his favorite drivers are AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano. Funds received from winning the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award would help an expansion of Fuel for Success programs that would immediately benefit more than 300 students.

 

In Todd’s words: “I had never been to a race before [Auto Club Speedway in 2007] and I didn’t know what to expect. I had previously tried to do some youth-oriented things with the kids at the school and as soon as I got to the race track, I started looking at some of the cars and the colors on the cars, listening to the engines, smelling the fuel and I realized that I was excited. And, I immediately felt that this was something I might be able to use with the kids. The key to the success of our program is the sport itself. When we take the kids to a basketball or football game, they know what to expect but when we take them to the track they have no idea of what to expect or the popularity of the drivers they’ll meet. For the most part, NASCAR is probably new to about 80 percent of the kids we bring to a race across the country.”

 

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