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Speedway Charities hosts fund-raisers Thursday, Friday

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

The first of two fund-raisers to generate money for children's organizations in the Atlanta area is being held today.

Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) is sponsoring the Second Annual Clay Shoot at the Cherokee Rose sporting resort in Griffin. The event will include a demonstration by the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team, with all proceeds benefiting Speedway Charities.

According to Shaun Birindelli, director of the Atlanta Chapter of SCC, the event has been an "overwhelming success" thus far. "This is a great way to support [a group] that benefits local children's organizations," says Birindelli. "Our mission is to care for children in their educational, financial, social and medical needs, in order to help them to lead productive lives."

Along with the Olympic team, the clay shoot will feature appearances by 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Johnny Benson, and other notable figures.

Registration will begin at noon. The cost to participate is $150 for an individual, and $500 for a team of four.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers, in each of three divisions.

SCC's fund-raising efforts will continue on Friday, with a Fast Talk sponsored by AutoTrader.com. That event will be held at Club One, on the grounds of Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton.

Birindelli says Fast Talk provides kids with a unique opportunity to submit questions, which will be answered by a panel of "celebrity" guests. "It allows children to come to a premier NASCAR venue, and mingle with the sport's brightest stars," he says.

Several drivers will be on hand for Fast Talk, as well as Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motor Sports Inc., and NASCAR Owner Mike Helton. Tickets for the event are $150.

One local organization, which is among the scheduled beneficiaries for both SCC events, is Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children's Care Home in Locust Grove.

Susan Crane, the facility's administrator, described SCC as a "fantastic" organization, which has made a significant impact on the lives of children in need.

"They do so much for different children's care homes," says Crane. "We have had a relationship with them since 1997, and have received grants from them every year. It means we can get help with educational tools, school supplies and the daily administrative tasks that need to be done, in order to keep the home running."

For more information, visit www.speedwaycharities.org