MIS Cares awards $87,525 in cash grants to local charities

BROOKLYN, Mich. (November 17, 2015) – 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 $916,567 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.

In 2015 alone, Michigan International Speedway and its catering and concession partner Americrown along with MIS Cares donated or paid out more than $682,630.82 to local charities and service groups through cash donations and work programs.

But more, MIS Cares, the speedway’s charity arm, awarded a record $87,525 in cash donations to local charities through its grant program during the track’s annual Community Luncheon on Tuesday. 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 $5,000 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.
· MIS Cares granted $5,000 to the Jackson County Intermediate School District and the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce for the Middle School Challenge. The project addresses bullying, teasing, exclusion and isolation in schools.
· MIS Cares will provide a $3,500 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 $2,500 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.
· Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County will receive a $5,000 grant to enhance its Youth: Repurposing Today for a Better Tomorrow 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.”
· MIS Cares awarded $2,500 to the St. Mary on the Lake Church for the food pantry to serve anyone in need in the Manitou Beach area.
· The Hilltop Chapel received a $2,500 donation for its Backpack Program to provide supplemental meals for food-challenged families in the Concord Community School District.
· Addison Community Schools was granted $3,000 for its “Instruments for Kids” program. The goal of this program is to provide band instruments for youth in the Addison Community School system that may not be able to be in the band program otherwise.
· Communities in Schools of the Tecumseh Area received a grant for $2,500 for its Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) Girl Empowerment Program. ROX is a 20-week comprehensive and evidence-based empowerment program for girls.
· To further the fresh food distribution and nutritional education program for families in Jackson, Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties, the Food Bank of South Central Michigan received a grant for $4,000.
· Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan received a grant for $5,000 for its Girls on the Run Scholarship Fund. The purpose of this project is to provide a physical activity-based positive youth development program to develop and enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experiences.
· A $5,000 grant to Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan will provide needed support to the Youth Start Program. This program provides homeless youth immediate access to individualized job and life skills course work with a stipend and later, paid work experiences at Goodwill with onsite job and life coaching.
· To further Adrian Symphony Orchestra’s educational mission it received a grant for $3,500. Specifically the funds will be used for Young People’s Concerts and the Link Up program.
· Onsted Elementary School received a grant for $5,000 for “The Leader in Me: A Leadership Initiative at Onsted Elementary School” curriculum. The goal is to develop students at a young age by integrating leadership training into everything they do.
· $4,525 was granted to the Region 2 Area Agency on Aging for its Assistive Technology Community Classes. The purpose of this project is to develop a series of classes for the community focused on the use of assistive technology to increase safety and independence for people with disabilities and older adults.
· Siena Heights Serves’ Partnership with Share the Warmth received a $4,000 grant to continue to provide warmth, food and hygiene products to the homeless in Lenawee County.

As part of an ongoing initiative to promote learning among students at all education levels, MIS Cares and the NASCAR Foundation will award a $5,000 grant to six school districts in Jackson and Lenawee Counties. The grants will aid in upgrading the technology in the media center or library of the schools.

· Blissfield Elementary will use a grant for its Walking Classroom program. Benefitting more than 200 students, the projects aims to promote physical fitness in fourth and fifth graders while the students listen to podcasts on subjects ranging from science, social studies and language arts.
· Creating a true media center is the goal behind Clinton Middle School’s “Flexible Groupings” project. The grant from MIS Cares and The NASCAR Foundation will provide over 250 middle school students with a place designed specifically for them to collaborate, create and learn.
· Ezra Eby Elementary School in Napoleon received a grant to purchase 30 tablets for the Media Center. The additional technology will allow Ezra Eby teachers to tailor lessons to students who are functioning below grade level in addition to students who could use added challenges.
· Hanover-Horton High School received a technology grant for its Ecological Historians, Educators and Stewards of the Earth project. Now, 200 high school students will have access to 16 iPad mini tablets to assess the local ecosystem and record its current condition.
· Almost 500 middle and high school students in the Hudson School District will benefit from a dozen new ASUS Transformer Tablets to assist with various research projects. The goal is to teach students to be efficient in completing multiple levels of research under varying degrees of supervision.
· Michener Elementary in Adrian received a grant for its “Digital Books for Developing Minds” project. The goal is to start up and maintain a digital audio and visual library for all ages. More than 300 elementary students will have the opportunity to benefit from the new technology.

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 and Toyota.

Michigan International Speedway and Whelen Engineering have partnered to donate $20,000 in equipment to help three local police agencies. The Lenawee County Sherriff’s office will receive four rear LED lights for its motorcycle fleet. MIS and Whelen donated one light bar to the Cambridge Township Police Department. In addition, the Adrian Police Department received a siren box for one of its cop cars.

Another $81,411 was awarded through sponsorships and tickets to almost 250 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.”

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.

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.