RIR Cares: Giving Back to RVA, It’s More Than Just Racing

Nearly $90,000 Donated and Over 700 Volunteer Hours Accumulated in 2015

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For more information about RIR Cares 2015 efforts, you can download this info graphic here

Richmond International Raceway is more than just racing. We’re about making an impactful difference in the local Richmond area. We don’t just work in RVA; we live and play in RVA too.  That’s why it’s important to us to support our community.  RIR Cares by giving back to RVA. 

Through volunteer efforts and multiple fundraisers in 2015, RIR Cares beat our 2014 efforts, which was a record-setting year!  RIR employees closed out 2015 with 786 volunteer hours, an increase from the 685 hours completed in 2014.  These hours were accumulated through volunteering at events like the RVA Cow Drop, RVA Field of Dreams, Junior Achievement, Operation Paintbrush, Celtic Festival, RIR Track Laps, Turn Left Golf Classic, Henrico County Community Clean Up, YMCA Bright Beginnings, and Read Across America.  Our employees also volunteered their personal time through church, civic and school events.

RIR Cares’ highlight of 2015 was the recent grants awarded to eight local organizations, totaling $30,000, more than any previous year since the inception of the RIR Cares Grant Program in 2013.  Local organizations applied for the grants, with applications being reviewed by a committee of RIR employees.  Grants were awarded to the Northside Outreach Center ($2,500), Virginia Dental Association Foundation (5,000), Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center (2,500), DRIVE SMART Virginia (2,000), Peter Paul Development Center ($5,000), Northside Family YMCA ($3,000), Higher Achievement Program ($5,000), and Youth Life Foundation of Richmond ($5,000) to assist in their efforts in the community.

In addition to the grants, one of the most notable RIR Cares donations was a hand-crafted racecar toy box, built by RIR employees, branded with the iconic No. 24, and filled with racing-themed toys.  It was built in honor of NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, recognizing him for his efforts to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer warriors.  Gordon unveiled the toy box at his final race at RIR in September 2015 and together RIR Cares and Gordon presented it to UVA Children’s Hospital.

Americrown, RIR’s catering service, also supports the local community with volunteer groups working concession stands during our two NASCAR weekends.  Fifteen groups worked 330 hours, resulting in approximately $54,000 donated to these volunteer groups in 2015.  In addition, through food rescue and recovery efforts during race weekends, as well as the Feedmore Holiday Food Drive, Richmond International Raceway and Americrown donated more than 3,800 meals to local foodbanks and soup kitchens and successfully diverted over 11 Tons of food scraps to compost. 

“RIR is a proud member of the local community,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier.  “Our employees continue to support our volunteer efforts and are constantly looking for new opportunities to increase our impact in the community.  Our hope is to grow our fundraising efforts in order to provide even more grants in 2016.”

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