Florida: Home to sunshine and sea shells, Lilly Pulitzer, my family, and the Gators. That's what Florida means to me.

However, as a new resident of North Carolina I am coming to enjoy so much about this new place that I call home. I have come to know the thrill of living at the home of NASCAR, the tastes of Charlotte's many local eateries, outdoor festivals, and a tremendously giving city. As a student of Non-Profit Management at the University of Florida, I hoped to find myself in a career that allowed me to give back to others. Working with Speedway Children's Charities through the Lowe's Motor Speedway Internship Program has allowed me to do just that!

In these tough economic times we are forced to look at what is truly important in our lives. My time spent with SCC has allowed me the opportunity to be an advocate for children that are simply looking for the help they are in need of, whether it's a home, family or a good mentor this holiday season. It has also manifested the motto that hard work goes a long way. After watching countless hours put in by SCC staff to ensure that special events are very successful in order to help raise over $854,000 for local charities in need around the Charlotte region I have come to truly believe that I have chosen the right career path. I have also seen how many local & national businesses, race fans from all over the US, and local residents were willing to give of their own time and money to help others in need over the past few months.

So, hoping that the new year brings prosperous times for us all, another safe racing season, and even greater goals met for helping children in need, I say bring on the snow, the pecan pie and the 8 hour drive home through holiday traffic because, next year promises to be bigger and better for us all! I challenge everyone to be thankful for the gifts in this life, because unlike our favorite sport, there is only one race in the chase!