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Speedway to Receive Founder’s Award at Clark State’s Circle of Friends Celebration

Speedway to Receive Founder’s Award at Clark State’s Circle of Friends Celebration

May 11, 2016

Speedway LLC will be this year’s recipient of the prestigious Clark State Founder’s Award at the Circle of Friends Celebration to be held Friday, May 13 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 275 South Fountain Avenue in downtown Springfield. Speedway was selected as this year’s Founder’s Award recipient by previous honorees.

“Speedway has been a most generous and loyal supporter of all of the arts organizations in the community,” said Kristin Culp, vice president of external affairs at Clark State. “They have been instrumental in building and sustaining the Clark State Performing Arts Center, in addition to their many other contributions to the College and the community.”

Dr. Dennis Roark, chairman of the Circle of Friends Committee, said Speedway has a long history of supporting the Clark State Performing Arts Center and the students at Clark State. “Their generous gift helped to make the construction of the Performing Arts Center possible, and they have continued to support its programming through sponsorships.”

In addition to their support of the Performing Arts Center, Speedway has supported students through scholarships and the Champion City Scholars Program. They were also the Patriot Sponsor of the Fallen Warrior Memorial on the College’s Leffel Lane campus.

“Speedway has been involved with Clark State and the Performing Arts Center for many years,” said Tony Kenney, president of Speedway. “We have supported both financially via donations and scholarships. We have also been a business partner with Clark State to assist in ongoing development of our employees.”

Kenney said Clark State is important to Speedway because it has been a consistent pipeline for great employees for more than 20 years. In 2011, Speedway partnered with Clark State to create the Retail Leadership Development Program. “Retail Leadership is one of the premiere development programs for Speedway employees - from our general managers at our stores to analyst positions in the office,” said Kenney. The week-long program is designed to positively accelerate the leadership capabilities of individuals who show potential for continued advancement in leadership roles. 

“By supporting our home town, we enrich the lives of our customers and employees,” Kenney said. “A strong Clark State Community College means affordable, close-to-home educational choices for our customers, employees and their families.”

Kenney said Speedway is honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Founder’s Award.  “It’s fulfilling to be able to support your local community in such a positive way – but to receive accolades for doing so is quite humbling.”

Following the dinner and Founder’s Award presentation, country music star Josh Turner will perform at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. The show will begin at 8 p.m. with opening act Wyatt McCubbin, a rising country music star from South Charleston, Ohio.

Artwork by 11 talented youth involved in Project Jericho will be featured at the Circle of Friends Celebration. Photos from their project “I Am” will be printed on glass for this year’s centerpieces at the dinner. Larger versions of their work will also be displayed at The Hub gallery in downtown Springfield through the month of May.  

The Circle of Friends is a community support organization of the Clark State Performing Arts Center. Membership is open to everyone. The Circle of Friends assists the Clark State Performing Arts Center in providing quality performances in a first class facility to a wide regional audience. Members enjoy a "behind-the-scenes" look at the Clark State Performing Arts Center while reaping special benefits and knowing that they are helping to preserve the area's cultural heritage. Since its inception in 1996, the Circle of Friends has raised over $600,000 through its annual campaign and special event fundraisers.

The Circle of Friends Celebration will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center. Dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with the Founder’s Award Program to follow. Tickets for Josh Turner range in price from $40 - $100 and are available online at or by calling (937) 328-3874. All proceeds from the Celebration will benefit the Clark State Performing Arts Center and its youth programs, including Project Jericho.

Previous Founder’s Award Recipients
2004 Richard Kuss – Albert Salerno – Harry M. Turner
2005 Fred Leventhal
2006 John Field
2007 Jim Foreman
2008 Dwight W. and Jane P. Hollenbeck
2009 James H. and Nike D. Lagos
2010 Security National Bank
2011 David Hartley and David Hobson
2012 Dr. Nicholas and Mrs. Thalia Pavlatos
2013 Dr. Karen E. Rafinski
2014 Randy Kapp
2015 Plato and Tina Pavlatos

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