Stocks for Tots Celebrates 25 Years
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on December 10, 2013 | 11:50 P.M. EST
Over the past 25 years Stocks-for-Tots has raised over a $1 million for SCAN and has helped deliver truckloads of toys to kids in need each season. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Celebrating its 25th year, "Stocks for Tots" held another successful event Tuesday night to help raise money and deliver toys to children in need this holiday season.
Race fans lined up early in the morning at the NASCAR Technical Institute to make donations and purchase one of 300 wristbands available for the autograph session to help benefit SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children, supporting parents and improving the community.
Don Miller, chairman of the Stocks for Tots Foundation and the North Carolina Racing Hall of Fame, formed the event in 1989 following a trip to Mooresville.
"It started when Rusty (Wallace) and I were thinking of starting our own race team," Miller said. "We came down to Mooresville, looked at some property and while we were having breakfast one morning, this guy came up (to Rusty) and said, 'Hey, aren't you Rusty Wallace?' He was a representative for the city of Mooresville, and said they were trying to put something together to help abused children and needed some personalities.
"To make a long story short, we decided to put an event on. We got a bunch of the drivers together, a bunch of show cars and put the first program together; and the guys came in, signed autographs, people made a donation and brought toys, and it just exploded from there."
Over the past 25 years, Stocks for Tots has raised over $1 million for SCAN and has helped deliver truckloads of toys to kids in need each season.
"We've already filled a box truck with toys," Miller said. "We'll bring them to Statesville (N.C.) to the SCAN Center and they break it up from lists of what a child might want. We also go to the hospitals where the children are and distribute them."
A number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were on hand to meet fans including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, David Ragan and JJ Yeley; along with NHRA drivers Greg Anderson, Jason Line and Doug Herbert.
"The racing community in general really supports it," Miller said. "It's not only the NASCAR guys but the drag racers, road racers and the dirt racers. What we've tried to do is make room for a few people from each segment so the fans get a chance to meet some new people."
Before signing autographs, Earnhardt presented a check for $5,000 from the Dale Jr. Foundation to SCAN of Iredell County. Earnhardt also was one of the guests on Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live," which originated from the auditorium where drivers were signing autographs. (Click to Listen)
"This event has been going on as long as I can remember and we've been coming since the mid '90's," Earnhardt said. "I was really excited to come back and see how much it's grown. It does a lot of great things and makes a lot of kids happy for the holidays."
Along with Wallace, NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Ned Jarrett were in attendance.
"It's great that they do something like this for the kids," Petty said. "It's my first time up here and I didn’t realize it was this big of a deal."
Race fans brought everything from tires, posters and die-cast cars to even a trophy to get autographed. The trophy that went through the line was signed by Petty, from his 200th career win in the 1984 Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway. It was the winning crew chief trophy from the race. Steve Hulscbus had acquired it from Buddy Parrott.
"It was a great thing," Hulscbus said about Petty signing the trophy. "I don't think he's signed too many of these since it's one of a kind."
Along with the toy donations and wristband sales, a silent auction was held that included autographed sheet metal, die-cast cars, shirts and more.