Curtis Francois Named 2021 Comcast Community Champion Of The Year
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – On November 30, 2021, Comcast announced World Wide Technology Raceway owner, Curtis Francois, as the seventh annual Comcast Community Champion of the Year. Francois receives the award for his work with the Raceway Gives Foundation, which lifts up individuals and military families in the St. Louis area who are seeking to fulfill their potential, no matter their situation. Comcast will award $60,000 to the Raceway Gives Foundation in recognition of Curtis’ outstanding contributions to the community.
“This is a tremendous honor for The Raceway Gives Foundation,” said Francois. “The foundation has lofty goals and high hopes for what we can accomplish within our community by providing career opportunities, community engagement, and educational experiences for area youth and military families. With this prestigious award and Comcast’s generosity, our foundation will foster transformational change for many people.”
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The Raceway Gives Foundation was created by World Wide Technology Raceway to serve as a community asset that focuses on STEM education and diversity. It seeks to create a larger STEM footprint by bringing an expanded and unique curriculum to area youth. Of note is the foundation’s relationship with
the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center via the “Racing in the Classroom” program that introduces motorsports education and career opportunities to an underserved community for local youth ages 8-18.
Recently, Comcast partnered with Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee and local youth to surprise Curtis with the award. Video from the surprise event can be viewed here.
Francois was chosen by a panel comprised of Comcast NBCUniversal and NASCAR executives, as well as the 2020 Comcast Community Champion, Bubba Wallace who received the award for his work with the Live To Be Different Foundation.
“Comcast is proud to recognize Curtis as the 2021 Comcast Community Champion of the Year. Each day The Raceway Gives Foundation has demonstrated the importance of making a positive impact in one’s own community,” said Matt Lederer, Comcast’s vice president of brand partnerships and amplification. “Curtis embodies everything the award stands for and what it looks like to be a champion in their community. I look forward to seeing how both Curtis and his foundation continue to make a positive impact in the lives of their community and in the sport of NASCAR.
Greg Walter, Executive Vice President / GM at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Jamie Little, NASCAR pit reporter for FOX Sports were selected as finalists and each will be awarded $30,000 toward charity organizations in their hometowns of Charlotte, NC., and Indianapolis, Indiana, respectively. In conjunction with the Speedway Children's Charities (SCC), Walter worked to provide funding for hundreds of non-profit organizations throughout the nation and played a pivotal role in distributing more than $300,000 SCC funds at Christmas to deserving area nonprofits serving children in need. Little started working with the Animal Help Alliance, a foster-based rescue that specializes in rescuing animals in our community. Little has been extremely active in animal rescue work, donating to over 25 animal shelters throughout the country. Videos highlighting each finalist’s story can be viewed at ComcastCommunityChampion.com.
Comcast’s Xfinity brand entered NASCAR as entitlement partner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2015 and is now Premier Partner of the NASCAR Cup Series. Since then, the company has donated $840,000 to more than 20 different NASCAR-affiliated organizations to honor their efforts and to help further the impact of their worthy causes. Fans can visit ComcastCommunityChampion.com to learn more about past and present finalists and their acts of selflessness.
About Comcast Corporation:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
World Wide Technology Raceway owner and CEO Curtis Francois to receive
MAC’s Jack Buck Award on December 6
Missouri Athletic Club also will honor Bruce, Backes, Goldschmidt, Kalish and Unger
ST. LOUIS – On Monday, December 6, the Missouri Athletic Club in Downtown St. Louis will host the 52nd Jack Buck Sports Awards Banquet presented by Redbird Carriers.
World Wide Technology Raceway owner Curtis Francois will receive the Jack Buck Award in recognition of his contributions to local racing, including landing a coveted NASCAR Cup Series Race for St. Louis. Recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Isaac Bruce will receive the Stan “the Man” Award for his contributions to St. Louis on the field and in the community through his foundation. The newly named “Bob Plager Legends Award” will honor two St. Louis Blues greats, Gary Unger and David Backes. Cardinals Gold-glove first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will be honored as the Sports Personality of the Year. Saint Louis University men’s soccer coach Kevin Kalish will receive the Carl O. Bauer Award in recognition as a top local figure in amateur sports.
The annual banquet was established in 1970 by Missouri Athletic Club member Jack Buck to honor the top St. Louis sports figures. Some of the biggest names in sports history including Bob Gibson, Joe Torre, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Al MacInnis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Brett Hull, Marshall Faulk, Albert Pujols and Kurt Warner have been honored at the event. Every banquet since its inception has aired on KMOX Radio. This year’s banquet can be heard beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6.
The honorees will be available to the media during the VIP reception, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Go to the lobby elevators at the MAC and proceed to the fourth floor. Also, the media is welcome to record any part of the banquet, which will take place in the ballroom located on the 2nd floor, between 8-9:30 p.m.
About World Wide Technology Raceway
World Wide Technology Raceway is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 600 acres, WWTR is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. WWTR’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, recently-expanded 2.0-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility, a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue and the Gateway Drive-In Theater at World Wide Technology Raceway (a drive-in entertainment venue able to accommodate 3,000 cars). WWTR acquired Gateway National Golf Links, adjacent to the speedway property, in 2019. WWTR was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from the St. Louis Attractions Association. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence. The 2021 season marks Francois’ 10th year as owner and CEO of WWTR.
We are committed to making a difference in our community, while providing first-class entertainment and memories that last a lifetime.
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