The seasonal transformation is very nearly complete.
Within just a few days, the major scenery change taking place inside Mooresville’s NASCAR Technical Institute will be finalized, to once again turn the hands-on learning lab institution into a holiday-themed entertainment center.
Continuing a timely tradition taking place in excess of three decades, this week in general and Tuesday evening specifically brings with it another highly-anticipated installment of a long-running combination Stocks for Tots holiday event and fundraiser.
This year’s 31st annual gala affair will take place inside the NTI facility. Festivities surrounding the attraction officially get underway at 5 p.m., but preparations have been in place for a much longer period of time.
In existence since 1989, Stocks for Tots has generated more than $1 million and collected well in excess of 70,000 toys during its never-ending efforts to raise awareness of child abuse throughout North Carolina.
Each year, in keeping with another established trait, thousands of fans and followers have attended the event in order to meet and greet with many professional race car drivers representing various divisions of NASCAR.
A host of current NASCAR Hall of Fame members are again among the personalities scheduled to be in attendance.
Admission to the Stocks for Tots requires wristbands, providing access to face-to-face autograph as well as photo sessions with the various guests filling out this year’s attendance roster. There will also be access provided to an on-site gift shop, and all in attendance will be allowed to participate in the silent auction with a host of prizes up for grabs.
This year, as a special added incentive, a special $100 per-person ticket is also being offered to fans who desire to be among the first 50 followers in line for desired autographs. The nearby North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame will be in charge of pre-sell of the tickets.
General admission tickets continue to be available for $25 apiece.
A virtual Who’s Who of the pro racing industry — from the drivers to the pit crew members — will be among those in attendance.
“This,’’ said Don Miller, chairman of the Stocks for Tots Foundation as well as the NCAHOF — where he is also an inductee — who has been recognized for his off-track efforts as the inaugural recipient of the now-annual NASCAR Humanitarian Award, “is the most noteworthy thing we do. We’ve been collecting toys just for this at locations all around the area.”
The money raised by the Stocks for Tots will be used to support the Stop Child Abuse Now non-profit organization, which is dedicated to helping children as well as supporting parents and improving the community.
The NTI site, the only such school of its kind also sanctioned by NASCAR, is also once again privileged to play such a pivotal role in the process.
“I am as excited as Don to hold Stocks for Tots at NASCAR Tech again,’’ said John Dodson, vice-president of Business Alliances & NASCAR at the facility. “With all the great drivers who will be here signing autographs, the fans will be in for a special treat while helping a truly worthwhile cause.”
NTI is located at 220 Byers Creek Road inside the Talbert Road Point Park complex.
Stocks for Tots was originally created as a way to bring together stock car racing and its fans while raising awareness of child abuse. The idea, which has since grown to its current size, was to collect toys for needed children during a festive timely holiday family-oriented event.