DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation is pleased to announce that they have raised $129,000 at their annual dinner celebration and auction that was held recently at the DAYTONA 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway. This year they honored former NASCAR crew chief, TV analyst and motivational speaker Steve Letarte. Proceeds from the event will support SMA’s Huger Adolescent Campus project.
“This event broke attendance and fundraising efforts for the SMA Foundation this year,” said Melissa Murphy, Chairman of the Board of Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation. “This was our 18th year hosting the event and the support from the community has always been outstanding,” she added.
Letarteis a former NASCAR crew chief, having celebrated success with both Dale Earnhardt Jr. from 2011-2014 and with Jeff Gordon prior to that. During his ten years as a crew chief in NASCAR, Steve celebrated 11 wins, 19 poles, 112 top 5’s and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup 9 years in a row. Currently, Steve is a television analyst for NBC Sports, where he commentates the NASCAR Sprint Cup series races aired on the NBC network. You can also watch Steve weekly on the television show NASCAR America, which airs daily on the NBC Sports Network. Steve also draws on his past experience with Hendrick Motorsports as a motivational speaker.
Ralph Sheheen was the Master of Ceremonies and worked with Andrew Gurtis, the Dinner Chairman, to conduct a live auction. Auction items included an official 2016 Daytona 500 leather jacket autographed by Denny Hamlin, and a Peavey Composite Acoustics guitar autographed by numerous artists from the recent Country 500, including Lady Antebellum, Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, and Little Big Town. Funds raised were from ticket and auction item sales.
The theme this year was Victory Lane… Then & Now. In celebration, the family of the late Marvin Panch graciously offered his 1961 Daytona 500 winning car and trophy that was on display for photos in Daytona’s Gatorade Victory Lane.
Proceeds from the annual dinner will benefit the Huger Adolescent Campus Project, which includes major renovations of SMA’s facility on Tiger Bay Road to create a new-state-of-the-art Adolescent Campus that will re-imagine what it means to deliver an exceptional experience for a child going through the most difficult time of their life. The renovations will bring BEACH House and RAP onto the same site, where they receive exemplary educational services through Volusia County Schools. This new Adolescent Campus will benefit area families by enabling children to stay close to home for individualized treatment and recovery needs. It will provide comfort and healing for all in our community, including the poor and uninsured. To help support the project, visit http://www.smafoundation.com/huger-adolescent-project/.