Charlotte Motor Speedway volunteer helps raise money for charity

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Race fans are looking forward to an eventful weekend as the Coca-Cola 600 gets underway.

People will certainly be watching drivers on the track, but another set of wheels gets attention at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Irene Newell drives a golf cart that transports fans around the property.

Her full-time job is in banking, but she volunteers at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I do get a couple of community service days at work and I also use vacation days and my weekends,” she said.

She sacrifices that time because she enjoys what she does and appreciates knowing her work is supporting a community outside of racing.

“I put things on my cart letting people know that I'm a volunteer and that even though we don't charge for rides because we do this to assist the fans, we do take donations and all the donations go to kids locally,” she said.

The donations support Speedway Children’s Charities.

“We try to make sure that we help kids who have social needs, financial needs, medical needs, and we support many education programs within in the schools in our community,” said Lisa Starnes, director of the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

Starnes says within a year, the group may raise close to $50,000 by providing the service to every race and event.

In combination with its other fundraising efforts, the Charlotte Motor Speedway chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities provided more than $952,000 in grants to 98 groups in the Charlotte area last year.

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