The Atlanta chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities Foundation is spreading the holiday spirit this year in a big way. More than $180,000 will be presented to 23 area charities at the annual holiday celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Despite losing valuable fundraising time because of a mid-summer tornado, this year's total is an increase of more than $7,000 from last year. Representatives from each charity, including children who benefit directly from the Speedway Children's Charities' year-round diligence, will attend Tuesday's events, which begin at 6:00 p.m.

The program will be held in the Atlanta Motor Speedway ballroom and will feature a performance by the Mt. Carmel Elementary School Choir, as well as a special visit from Santa Claus and Atlanta Motor Speedway's mascot, Monkey Wrench.

Speedway Children's Charities works year-round to raise money for local children's organizations through special charity auctions, raffles, receptions, and donations from race fans. The culmination of their efforts is the actual check presentation to each organization, which occurs during this holiday celebration.

"It's an honor to give back to these organizations, and I'm privileged to be able to stand in front and represent the Atlanta Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities," said Steve Roberts, 2005 chair. "We think we work hard, but these organizations really work, they are really committed."

The Atlanta Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities was founded in 1994 and over the past 11 years has donated approximately $2 million to local organizations. For more information about Speedway Children's Charities call local director Pat Thompson at (770) 946-3921, the national Speedway Children's Charities at (704) 455-4396 or visit www.speedwaycharities.org.