It's the most wonderful time of year for more than 60 New England nonprofit organizations. The New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children's Charities held its eighth annual grant distribution ceremony on Thursday at the Palace Theatre, where a record $267,528 was handed out - a total that will benefit more than 120,000 children.

Since its inception, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and SCC have distributed close to $1.5 million, supporting nearly 300,000 children across the Northeast.

"This is truly my favorite time of the year," said Cheryl LaPrade, the director of the SCC's New Hampshire chapter. "This is when we see the fruition of all the hard work everyone does to raise money during the year. The faces of the recipients say more than words, but knowing how this money will change the lives of so many children is what makes this so special."

On the national level for 2016, Speedway Children's Charities has raised more than $3.1 million for nearly 450 children's programs and 800,000 children thanks to fundraising efforts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway

Helping LaPrade hand out checks to each organization on the Palace Theatre stage were New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager David McGrath, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

Money raised through the New Hampshire Chapter includes events such as the "One for the Kids" Golf Tournament, NASCAR Champions Breakfast, Red Bucket Brigade (July and September), Driver Memorabilia Auction, Lobster Bake, Track Walks and the Safe Kids 500, as well as both NASCAR weekends.

Speedway Children's Charities is a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1982 with the mission: to care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. There are eight SCC chapters across the United States, representing the communities surrounding SMI speedways. Each chapter is run independently with the purpose of helping children in need within its local region.

THEY SAID IT …

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan:
"What's really so important and magical about this event is that it's all about taking care of children year-round. I am so privileged to be here today. The holidays really are a time to focus on the importance of one another; we really are a state that's not afraid to roll up its sleeves when there's a need."

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas:
"I attend a lot of these kinds of events during the holiday season, but this one is so important because it helps children. Times are a lot tougher now than they have been in the past, so I want to thank you everyone here for all that you do."

NHMS Executive VP/GM David McGrath:
"I am so proud of Speedway Children's Charities and all its members for all they do for everyone throughout the year. This is a record-breaking year, but I know Cheryl (LaPrade) and her team will do a great job in 2017 and continue to break records."