NASCAR Race Partnership leaves Folds Of Honor with Scholarship Shortfall

Staring out at the infield of Atlanta Motor Speedway last year, Mike Beltz said he remembers thinking how "phenomenal it was" to see a folded American flag – the logo of the Folds of Honor organization – painted on the grass for NASCAR's inaugural Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race. He also recalls the prophetic words of Chuck O'Dell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Tulsa, Oklahoma-based QuikTrip Corporation.

"This will be a two-edged sword," O'Dell told Beltz, acting President of Folds of Honor. "He was absolutely right. He saw it coming."

What O'Dell saw was an approaching avalanche of scholarship applications headed straight at Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities for families of military members who have been killed or disabled while on active duty.

This weekend's NASCAR race is the single biggest event that the Folds of Honor has been involved with.

The organization, founded in 2007, is now faced with trying to fund almost $4.8 million worth of scholarship requests from military families. The education-based scholarships awarded by Folds of Honor are each for $5,000. After last year's race, the number of military families applying for scholarships rose 69 percent, from 2,950 in 2014 to 5,000 in 2015, according to Folds of Honor. They were unable to fund 950 scholarships last year, marking the first time the organization found itself with too little supply and too much demand. Forbes

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