TMS' Speedway Children's Charities news

Speedway Children's Charities Reaches Out To Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Nov. 22, 2004) - Webster defines the word "memory" as "all that a person can remember". And, that is exactly what the Clayton...

Speedway Children's Charities Reaches Out To Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Nov. 22, 2004) - Webster defines the word "memory" as "all that a person can remember". And, that is exactly what the Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer strives to provide. The agency provides assistance in creating "everlasting memories" for needy families with children in the last stages of terminal cancer. The Foundation is one of 159 agencies in Tarrant, Dallas, Denton, and Collin counties receiving grants from Speedway Children's Charities.

Speedway Children's Charities will distribute a record $475,000 to the local charities during its annual grant ceremony on Friday, Nov. 26. The event will be held in conjunction with Fort Worth's "Home For The Holidays" celebration that includes the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Sundance Square and the Starbucks Parade of Lights presented by Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children's Charities donated the 65-foot Christmas tree to the city of Fort Worth.

The Clayton Dabney Foundation For Kids With Cancer, one of 44 agencies in Dallas County receiving assistance from Speedway Children's Charities, was founded in honor of six-year-old Clayton Dabney, who lost his battle with cancer on September 6, 1995.

"We are thrilled to be getting this assistance," foundation executive director John P. Owen said. "Speedway Children's Charities has been a great help to us over the years. I went to the grant ceremony last year, and it is just amazing the support there is for agencies like ours. Speedway Children's Charities is a great friend."

The Foundation provides the memories by providing gifts or last wishes of the child that is out of the financial reach of the parents. In some cases, financial assistance has been provided to ease the heavy burden that this disease places on families, which allows the parents to take off work and spend more time with their dying child.

"We get requests from all over the country," Owen said. "But, we focus mostly on the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Dallas County in particular. We probably get anywhere from 25 to 40 requests a year."

The Foundation has served over 400 families and distributed over $500,000 in gifts, wishes, and financial assistance since its inception.

"We will use the grant from Speedway Children's Charities to help these families with their requests and to provide lasting memories of their children," Owen said. "Every family we help gets a 'Memory Basket" which includes things like cameras, games, picture frames, a Dictaphone, journal, and books that help families and children deal with the realities of death."

The Speedway Children's Charities ceremony will begin at 5:20 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, with a special "sneak peek" lighting of the tree at Sundance Square in Fort Worth. At 6:15 p.m. the 22nd Annual Starbucks Parade of Lights presented by Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. will kick off Fort Worth's holiday celebration with more than 100 illuminated parade entries. The parade steps off from Weatherford Street between Henderson and Throckmorton Street. At the conclusion of the grant ceremony, the tree will go dark until the parade ends. At that time, approximately 7:45 p.m., Santa will be on hand to re-light the tree that will then remain lit until January 5, 2005.

-tms-

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