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Motorsports: Watkins Glen Int'l gifts Autism Speaks, NASCAR Foundation

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According to the Watkins Glen International racetrack in upstate New York, the circuit will donate proceeds from its opening weekend in April to not just one charity, but two. According to a press release sent out by WGI on Thursday, May 29, the historic track will donate $10,000 to its previously announced recipient, Autism Speaks, and an additional $5,000 to the NASCAR Foundation.

Good weather is being credited for helping the second donation happen. WGI President Michael Printup noted, "We had amazing weather during Opening Weekend in April and we witnessed a record crowd. We are thrilled to be able to spread the wealth in support of two fantastic charities and want to thank the fans for supporting us this year. I hope this is a sign for how the rest of the race season will turn out."

Maeve MacKenzie, Manager of Field Development-NY with Autism Speaks, stated, "We are thrilled to have Watkins Glen International as a partner in supporting our mission. Opening Weekend at The Glen generated much-needed autism awareness in the New York community and also raised funds that will be integral to supporting our four pillars: Science, awareness, family services and advocacy. We hope that this is the beginning of a long partnership between Watkins Glen and Autism Speaks."

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism.

The NASCAR Foundation was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to helping children learn how to win, both inside and outside the classroom, through a variety of educational opportunities. The NASCAR Foundation has donated nearly $18 Million to initiatives helping to inspire children to live, learn and play.

Watkins Glen International sits atop a hill overlooking scenic Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Track officials say the facility is located within five hours (about 300 miles) of 25 percent of the U.S. population.

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