MIS Cares Community Luncheon

MIS Cares awards $85,169 in cash grants to local charities


The spirit of giving isn’t just a seasonal belief at Michigan International Speedway; it’s the racetrack’s way of doing business, giving back to the community while providing a valuable fund-raising platform for the community year-round.

MIS and its sister company Americrown combined donated a total of $774,873 to local service groups and organizations through cash donations, work programs, grants and sponsorships, as well as tickets and merchandise that clubs raffle to raise money.

“We are very proud of all the effort we put into our community,” MIS manager of Fan Services Jayme Bicknell said. “We strive to give back to the different programs to provide memorable experiences for the community members.”

In 2014 alone, Michigan International Speedway and its catering and concession partner Americrown donated or paid out more than $617,863 to local charities and service groups through cash donations and work programs.

But more, MIS Cares, the speedway’s charity arm, awarded a record $85,169 in cash donations to local charities through its grant program during the track’s annual Community Luncheon on Thursday. Representatives from all the charities attended, picking up “big” checks.

Recipients include:

  • Adrian College and MIS developed Track and Explore, a first-of-its kind science center and science-related field trips to benefit area middle school students. MIS Cares donated $10,000 to the program. 

  • MIS Cares provided $5,554 to Therapeutic Riding’s Adopt-A-Horse Program to pay for food, bedding, daily care, veterinary care, fuel and maintenance and farrier care. MIS Cares has adopted Maizy every year since 2010.


  • The YMCA Storer Camp received a grant for $5,000 for its Camp Catch-A-Rainbow Program. This program provides a no-cost resident camp experience for a child with chronic illness that may not be able to attend due to a medical or financial constraint.


  • With a $5,000 grant, AWARE Inc Sexual Assault Response Program will be able to provide counseling and victim support services. This program is a team of specially trained sexual assault nurse examiners (S.A.N.E.) and sexual assault on-call advocates who work with police to provide medical examinations to rape victims.


  • The Family Counseling and Children’s Services received a grant for $5,000 for the Keeping Us Safe and Warm program. This project assists women and children with food, clothing, safe shelter and ancillary services at the Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter.


  • MIS Cares granted $5,000 to the Jackson County Intermediate School District for the Middle School Challenge. The project addresses bullying, teasing, exclusion and isolation in schools.


  • MIS Cares provided Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties $5,000 for the Children Advocacy Center. The center provides services for children who have been sexually and/or severely physically abused.


  • MIS Cares will provide a $5,000 grant to the Lenawee Community Foundation for the Imagination Library. The purpose is to increase childhood literacy and better prepare children to enter kindergarten while promoting parent involvement.


  • With a $4,950 grant, the Communities in Schools of Lenawee and the Voices for Change Youth Empowerment will continue its collaborative effort to empower high school students to affect a positive change.


  • The Jackson County District Library was awarded a $4,880 donation for its Super Science Stars: Success through STEM. This project provides hands-on science, technology, engineering and math experience to elementary age children.


  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Barry and Eaton Counties received a grant for $4,500 for its Service for Foster Kids program. The grant will be used to grow the volunteer program through special training. 


  • Family Service and Children’s Aid was awarded a grant for $3,500 for it Breakout Drug Education Program. The program provides eight days of drug prevention education for middle and high school students in Jackson County.


  • St. Louis Center was awarded $3,000 for Fitness for Life, a program to help children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve physical health and functional fitness performance.


  • The Michigan Center Food Pantry received a grant for $2,500 for its End Hunger in Jackson and Backpack programs. The pantry serves approximately 300 families per month and the backpack program sends 40-50 packs home each Friday from October to May.


  • The Daily Bread of Lenawee Inc received a grant for $2,500 to assist the organization with the Hot Meals Program for the homeless in Lenawee County. The program serves 120 meals per day.


  • MIS Cares donated $2,500 to the Associated Charities of Lenawee County for their Holiday Food and Toy Distribution. The purpose for this grant is to provide holiday food baskets and toys for low income families.


  • Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County will receive a $2,500 grant to enhance its Youth: Repurposing Lenawee County’s Future project. The purpose of this project is to educate local youth on the importance of repurposing old building materials and furniture while teaching them basic building skills and how to think “green.”


  • The St. Mary’s of Good Counsel Church received a grant for $1,500 to purchase food for its pantry. 


  • MIS Cares awarded a $1,435 grant to the River Raisin Watershed Council for its Storm Water Model. This will allow the council to purchase a Ward’s Stormwater Model to increase its level of hands on experiences.


  • MIS Cares awarded $1,250 to the St. Mary on the Lake Church for the food pantry to serve anyone in need in the Manitou Beach area.


  • A $1,000 grant was awarded to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County for Breakfast with Santa. The project allows children facing adversity who are enrolled in mentoring programs to participate in a festive holiday event.


  • Lenawee County Critical Incident Stress Management team was provided a $1,000 grant to fund training and education. The team consists of firefighters, police, EMS and some members of the general public.


  • The Hilltop Chapel received a $1,000 donation for its Backpack Program to provide supplemental meals for food-challenged families in the Concord Community School District.


  • The Michigan Theatre of Jackson will receive a $1,000 grant for its restoration project. The grant funds will be used to restore its aisle lighting and strip lighting to work efficiently in this historic building.


  • Napoleon Community Schools received a grant for $600 to educate students about NASCAR. The school will purchase 30 scooters and safety cones for the program. MIS and Competition Tire West have also donated stickers, banners and pennant flags.


Additionally, MIS created The Michigan Heritage, a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR, in 2013. Each manufacturer and MIS donated $10,000 to be given to a youth-related, STEM-related charity in Michigan every year. That charity has yet to be named by winning manufacturer, Chevrolet.

MIS Cares is a donor advised fund of the NASCAR Foundation, a 501 © (3) non-profit entity.  MIS Cares’ mission is to create a lasting, positive impact on our community through charitable giving and volunteer efforts that cultivate community growth and advances quality of life.

Another $71,841 was awarded through sponsorships and tickets to almost 200 additional nonprofit organizations raffle off, also to raise money.

“We provide many annual opportunities for local clubs to earn some money for their groups,” speedway President Roger Curtis said. “We couldn’t run our business without the help of these clubs; but they certainly couldn’t raise the money they need without us, either.”

Service groups interested in assisting at MIS for future events may call Tim Booth, director of Guest Services, at (517) 592-6666 to place your group on a list.

The speedway and Americrown annually work with colleges, service groups, church groups, Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions clubs, masons, high school and college sporting clubs and a host of other organizations to provide a platform for those groups to earn money for their causes and programs during the racetrack’s events.

Imagine how long it would take a high school cheerleading team to generate more than a half-million dollars. That’s a lot of bake sales, car washes and lemonade stands.

Service groups annually and frequently assist MIS in a number of ways including tram drivers, car parkers, ticket stubbers, program sellers, T-shirt folders, gate staffers, hamburger flippers, suite attendants, catering runners and bartenders.

MIS Cares raises money through fund-raising events, as well as online auctions and donations.

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