Mercy-Sponsored Race Raises More than $1,500 to Keep Kids Smiling

May 30, 2014

NASCAR drivers and fans weren’t the only ones smiling earlier this month at the Lebanon I-44 Speedway. Mercy Hospital Lebanon raised $1,500 to pay for dental work for hundreds of local school children.

The 2nd Annual Mercy Masters of the Pros 144 was held May 17 at the racetrack located at 24069 Route 66 in Lebanon, Mo. This year, attendees were encouraged to round up their ticket purchases and take part in a 50/50 raffle – all to help offset the cost of tooth varnishing kits for K-6 students. The “Mercy Smile Team” is a collaboration between Mercy Hospital Lebanon and the Lebanon R-III School District.

“It’s the first time we’ve had these much-needed services provided for students like this,” said Ed Elsea, Hillcrest School principal and director of the summer school program. In June, Mercy nurses will apply the liquid tooth coating to as many as 600 students who are signed up for summer classes at Esther and Boswell schools. “It’s a great opportunity for parents and guardians to sign up for the program that will help their children have healthier teeth in the future,” added Elsea. Parents will receive paperwork from their kids once classes begin.

“I love being associated with an organization that knows how to take care of kids and the community, and they do a great job here,” said Kevin Greven, I-44 Speedway general manager and organizer. He presented the $1,500 check to Mercy Hospital Lebanon leaders on Friday.

Jeff Burton, known as the “Mayor of NASCAR,” served as grand marshal for the event and two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin entered the race as well.

Click here for photos from the event. For more information, visit

If you would like to make a donation to the Mercy Smile Team, call Karen Simpson-Neasby at 417-533-6192.