As a company, Comcast places high value on giving back to the communities where we live and work. One of the many ways we have accomplished this is through our annual Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award, which was established to shine a light on the charitable efforts of those in the NASCAR industry.

As we prepare for the 2017 Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award, we’re excited to share how the 2016 finalists have continued to shape their communities for the better since we first shared the impact of their efforts last October.

For 2016 Comcast Community Champion of the Year winner Wade Jackson and his wife Kim, the $60,000 donation goes toward Camp LUCK (Lucky Unlimited Cardiac Kids), an organization they co-founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in honor of their son Jacob who passed away from a congenital heart defect when he was only 17 years old.

"The Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award is so invaluable to Camp LUCK, as it will provide funding for the camp for an entire year," says Wade. "The work that Comcast does to recognize all of the good that people do in the NASCAR community is just so impressive."

Camp LUCK will put Comcast’s donation to use in a number of ways this year, from updating their registration system to allow easier transfer of campers’ medical records, to funding a secret field trip during Kid’s Camp that Camp LUCK arranges each year for attendees. In celebration of Wade being named Comcast Community Champion of the Year, both Kid’s Camp and Family Camp will boast NASCAR-related themes this year.

"Comcast is helping us to maintain the rustic, inviting atmosphere that is so important to all of us at Camp LUCK," says Kim. "We’re able to provide a comfortable place for our campers and volunteers to focus fully on our mission, and we couldn’t be more excited for our camps to start up this year."

For Samantha Busch, wife of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and co-owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports, the $30,000 finalist donation immediately translated into helping hopeful parents pay for IVF treatments through the Kyle Busch Foundation’s Bundle of Joy Fund. The organization was born out of Samantha and Kyle’s own struggle to conceive a few years ago, and works with the REACH clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, to assist families in getting pregnant.

"Comcast’s donation to our organization means so much to me because we now have the chance to help two more deserving couples continue their journey to having their own bundle of joy," says Samantha. "I am so thankful to Comcast for creating this program, and can’t wait to see the excitement and overwhelming joy from these families when we conduct another round of IVF funding in the next few months."

As a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pit crew coach at Richard Childress Racing, Ray Wright makes the most of every weekend he has at the race track through his organization, Pit Stops for Hope (PSFH). An effort well known throughout the garage, PSFH works to improve the lives of children by selling old pit crew items to fans during the weekends – the proceeds of which go toward providing food to those in need and working to create a more productive classroom environment.

Wright has set his sights on making his $30,000 finalist award an investment that will be fruitful for years to come. PSFH is currently in the process of partnering with Piedmont Freedom Schools in North Carolina to build a Winston-Salem-based facility for local students living in poverty to receive tutoring and free meals while in attendance.

"Pit Stops for Hope is really excited to partner with Piedmont Freedom Schools to continue our mission of providing food and education to children in need," says Ray. "I’m really grateful to Comcast for their contribution and for helping our organization lay the groundwork for our next milestone."

Stories like these are what inspire all of us at Comcast to continue giving back to our communities. We’re honored to be a part of these efforts, and look forward to seeing how our contributions come to life once more through the 2017 Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award.