Washington Mutual to send 1,500 local children to

Las Vegas 350




Although local hero Brendan Gaughan is favored to win Saturday¿s Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, at least 1,500 children will be cheering for Californian Ricky Bogart.  Bogart¿s sponsor, Washington Mutual, donated 1,500 admission tickets to The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children¿s Charities.  The free tickets were distributed this week to St. Jude¿s Children¿s Ranch, Nellis AFB Youth Programs, Boys & Girls Club of Henderson and Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas.


¿We applaud the efforts of Speedway Children¿s Charities to introduce kids-in-need to new social and cultural opportunities,¿ said Keith Cahill, regional manager for Washington Mutual¿s consumer bank in Las Vegas.  ¿We¿re proud to make the NASCAR experience available to kids in the Las Vegas area and we support the Charities¿ efforts to build stronger, healthier communities.


¿Washington Mutual and the legacy of NASCAR go hand-in-hand,¿ said Cahill.  ¿Our mission to be the bank of choice for middle-market consumers and live up to our motto of providing ¿great value with friendly service for everyone¿ is a perfect match for the fans of middle-America¿s new favorite pastime, NASCAR.¿


¿The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children¿s Charities commends Washington Mutual on its generosity,¿ said Chairman Keith DeRiso.  ¿Thanks to Washington Mutual, the children will be able to enjoy the race and this special night out.¿


Washington Mutual is committed to making communities better places to live, learn and work.  The company returns two percent of its pretax earnings to local communities through grants and other assistance.  Washington Mutual began its support of NASCAR and the Craftsman Truck Series in 2002.  As part of its NASCAR sponsorship, Washington Mutual hosted a meet-and-greet event with driver Ricky Bogart and the Craftsman Truck at two if its Las Vegas financial centers.


Speedway Children's Charities (www.speedwaycharities.org) is a non-profit foundation based in Charlotte, N.C., which distributes funds to charities and foundations providing medical, emotional and social services to children in need.  Founded in 1984 by O. Bruton Smith, chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Speedway Children's Charities has grown into a national foundation with chapters headquartered at each of the six Speedway Motorsports Inc., facilities (including Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Atlanta Motor Speedway). The organization has distributed more than $8 million to children's causes since its inception.


All money raised by the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities stays in southern Nevada.  On Dec. 3, 2002, the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities presented checks in the total sum of $228,000 to 31 local children's charities at its annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Grant Distribution Ceremony. Charities that received grant checks at the ceremony included: Amerindian, Assistance League of Las Vegas, Boulder Dam Area Council, Boys & Girls Club of Henderson, Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas, Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer, Children's Services Guild, Classroom on Wheels Inc., Culture Shock Las Vegas, Girls & Boys Town of Las Vegas, Hemophilia Foundation of So. Nevada, I Have A Dream Foundation, Learning For Life -- Boulder Dam, Lied Discovery Children's Museum, Las Vegas Sun Summer Camp Fund, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Miracle Flights for Kids, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Nellis AFB Youth Programs, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, Nevada Children's Center, New Horizons Academy, Olive Crest, Opportunity Village, Shade Tree shelter, Spread The Word Nevadaids, St. Jude's Ranch for Children, The Foundation for Positively Kids, Westcare Foundation and YMCA of Southern Nevada.


For more information on The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, contact Director Lesley Albers at (702) 632-8253 or .