FORT WORTH -- Children living in Butler Place will soon swing and slide on a new covered playground thanks to the Speedway Children's Charities Texas Chapter.
During Texas Motor Speedway's annual Christmas tree lighting Tuesday, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth received a $125,000 Founder's Grant to build the playground. Children who live in the 412-unit public housing complex just east of downtown will have a say in what the playground will contain and what it will look like. "We will build a place for kids to play, but also a place to learn," said Daphne Barlow Stigliano, president of Boys & Girls Clubs. "Kids learn a lot of valuable lessons on the playground -- how to play fairly, how to make friends, how to lead an active, healthy life."
Speedway Children's Charities delivered a total of $500,000 in grants Tuesday to about two dozen North Texas charities, including Dental Health Arlington, the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth. Grant amounts began at $5,000.
The speedway also lit a 63-foot Douglas fir, the largest live Christmas tree in Texas, and unveiled the Gift of Lights, a 1.7-mile route of holiday displays with more than 1 million energy-efficient lights.
Since 1997, Speedway Children's Charities has raised more than $8 million in grants for charities focused on children, reaching 2 million kids, TMS President Eddie Gossage said. "We're making a difference in the lives of a lot of kiddos in North Texas," said Scott Murray, incoming president of the charity's board of trustees.
After the tree lighting, about 30 children received early Christmas presents -- new bicycles and helmets. Mayor Betsy Price, who brought her own bike and helmet, rode with the children through the Gift of Lights.
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056