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Today's Celebration 2014 about having fun — and more
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Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell stands Wednesday in the VIP seating set up in front of the stage for Celebration 2014, which will be held today at the speedway. (Contributed photo)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

By DEREK MAJOR - Bulletin Staff Writer

As much as today’s Celebration 2014 is about family fun, entertainment and fireworks, it also is about helping people who are less fortunate.

Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell is more than happy with how the community has helped the Fuel for Families food drive at the celebrations in recent years.

“Usually the time of year for food and clothing drives is around Christmastime,” Campbell said.

But with the celebrations held around the July 4th holiday, people can help others during the summer as well.

Celebration 2014 will begin at 3 p.m. today with carnival rides at the speedway. Superhold will start the entertainment at 4 p.m., followed by Domino and then the headliner band, The Cadillac Three, at 8 p.m. A fireworks display will begin around 10 p.m. Admission is free; concessions will be available for sale.

Those who attend the celebration are asked to bring canned and nonperishable food items and personal care items to be distributed to area food banks. They may be placed in containers set up at the entrance and in carnival ride areas.

Campbell even will be in a dunking booth from 3 to 6 p.m. today to raise money for the food bank. People can pay $5 for three throws to dunk him in a tank located near the carnival rides.

Since the food drive became part of the celebration events five years ago, Campbell and the Martinsville Speedway have seen a steady increase in the number of donations to the drive and in the businesses that have participated as sponsors for the entire event.

“Obviously we don’t know how well we’re doing until the day of the event, but we can tell immediately by the turnouts and by the crowd how well we’re going to do, and in the years that we’ve run the food drive, it’s been significant,” he said.

“It’s something that we plan on doing for years to come. People in the area are generous, and we know that, and we want to give them an opportunity to help out,” Campbell added. “This is a great cause that helps people in the community, people that we know.”

Campbell is elated by the number of sponsors that are willing to get involved in Celebration 2014 and that they are local businesses, organizations and agencies that people in this community use every day. The majority of sponsors are in the Martinsville/Henry County area, and the list of sponsors grows every year, according to Campbell.

“Getting sponsors for this kind of event is huge, and each year we’re able to get new sponsors to come into the event,” he said. “It’s a significant thing. The local businesses in the area have been great for this event and without them, we wouldn’t be able to put on an event of this capacity.

“It’s great to see local businesses giving back to the community that they serve, and at the same time it’s great for us to provide a day where the community can bring their families and have fun for a few hours,” he added.

The attractions and fireworks also provide fun for children and give them a day to remember. There will be 14 rides this year, more than any other year.

“We want this to be a lasting memory for families, and especially kids,” Campbell said. “We want kids to be able to say 10 or 15 years from now that this celebration is something they remembered when they were little.

“We also want them to come back one day and enjoy the experience with their new families,” he added.

Sponsors for Celebration 2014 include: American Global Logistics, Ameristaff, Applied Felts, Bassett Furniture, Bassett Office Supply, BB&T, Blue Ridge Aquaculture, Brad Parker Insurance Agency – Nationwide Insurance, Carter Bank & Trust, Carter Machinery, Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth, City of Martinsville, Collinsville Printing, Commonwealth Laminating, Cool Knobs and Pulls, Dillon Insurance, Eastman, First Piedmont, Frith Construction, Henry County, Henry County Baptist Association, Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Hooker Furniture, Martinsville DuPont Credit Union, Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation, Memorial Hospital in Martinsville, Nelson Automotive, RTI Martinsville, River Community Bank, Shenandoah Furniture, Southwestern Virginia Gas, Stanley Furniture, Steve Martin Trenching, TR Properties, Taco Bell, Tarheel Paper and Supply Co., The Lester Group, Virginia Mirror, West Window and Zenith Logistics.


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