CHARLOTTE - 2020 has presented countless challenges and hardships. But nothing was going to stop the Panthers from delivering some joy yet again during the holiday season.
On Tuesday night, the Panthers and Coca-Cola Consolidated brought the second annual "Joy to the Carolinas" event to Charlotte Motor Speedway's "Speedway Christmas."
Fifteen hundred children and parents enjoyed a unique, socially-distant, holiday drive-thru experience filled with Christmas lights and holiday music and included pick-up spots for new toys, food, winter items, shoes and socks and much-needed health kits.
Panthers and Coca-Cola employees, including Nicole Tepper, were on hand to help distribute the holiday giveaways.
"I'm beyond excited to be a part of Joy to the Carolinas again this year and to see so many smiling faces," Tepper said. "This year has been especially difficult for so many families, and I'm thankful that Coca-Cola Consolidated and the Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered with us to help during the holiday season. This event is dear to my heart and we want to help make things a little bit easier for those that need it this year."
The Panthers are thankful for the generosity of partners that made donations for the event, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Atrium Health, Harris Teeter, Proctor & Gamble, Domino's and U.S. Foods.
Recipients were selected by over a dozen local non-profits, including the Salvation Army of Concord, Cabarrus Cooperative, Charlotte Family Housing, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, Rowan Helping Ministries, Families First in Cabarrus County, Children's Home Society, Safe Alliance, Police Activities League, YMCA, Charlotte Housing Authority, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Dove's Nest.