TULSA, Oklahoma - The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl and Tulsa's Parent Child Center are connected; and the three decades of charitable donations have helped thousands of kids.

The Chili Bowl has been around since 1987, and over that time I've done lots of stories about the race and thought I was pretty well-versed in Chili Bowl info, until I met J.D. Cormack.

He’s from Kansas City, but for three decades he's come to Tulsa every Chili Bowl to coordinate a charity auction.

"Right here in the silent we have about 180 items," he said.

Then, on Friday of race week, a live auction with about 50 more items.

The lion's share of the proceeds goes to Tulsa's Parent Child Center.

Executive Director Desiree Doherty said, "The Parent Child Center mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect."

They do that through education and therapeutic services to children and families, and the proceeds from the Chili Bowl help provide those services.

So how much money are we talking about? In 26 years, so far $223,000.

"That $223,000 has helped the Parent Child Center help over 3,000 children over the last 27 years that we might not otherwise have been able to reach," Doherty said.

So, when you pony up for an autographed helmet, or a collection of autographed picture cards of racing legends, or any of the other dozens of donated items, you can bet your money is well spent.

The silent auction is up now and the live auction will happen Friday from noon until 2 p.m.