Pineapple Gala Set for Nov. 11 "Under the Lights"

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Attendees at fundraising event will be first to experience racing at night at HMS (11/9/05) - While the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ford 200 will make history as the first night race in the history of Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov 18, supporters and race fans also have an opportunity to be a part of history and the first to ride around the high-banked oval "Under the Lights", as they put the pedal to the metal to raise money for the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, Speediatrics, at Homestead Hospital at the Pineapple Gala, Friday, Nov. 11. The seventh annual event, sponsored by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, will be held in the speedway's infield. Highlights of the evening will include a silent auction, a sit-down dinner, dancing and the opportunity to speed around Homestead-Miami Speedway in a Richard Petty Driving Experience stock car ride-along at speeds over 140 mph. Attendees will be the first on the track under a newly installed light system equivalent to 8.6 million table lamps. A record 800 people attended last year's event, including NASCAR drivers Dale Jarrett, John Andretti, Joe Nemechek and David Stremme. The Gala raised more than $125,000, and $600,000 has been raised over the past six years. Proceeds of the Pineapple Gala will benefit children's services at the new Homestead Hospital, including the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, called Speediatrics. The unit, decorated in a motorsports theme, will provide a bright and cheerful environment for children cared for at the new hospital, scheduled to open in late 2006. The new Homestead Hospital which is set to open in fall of 2006, will be the first new hospital to be built in Miami-Dade County in 30 years. It will be three times larger than and replace the existing Homestead Hospital that opened in 1940. The Pineapple Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception, silent auction and Richard Petty Driving Experience ride-alongs, followed by dinner and dancing. Tickets to the Pineapple Gala are $150 per person. Groups and companies receive special recognition for purchasing tables of 10. Ride-alongs in a real NASCAR stock car will be available through the Richard Petty Driving Experience for a donation of $100 per person, with all proceeds from the rides going to benefit children's services at the new Homestead Hospital. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and donations of large-ticket items are needed for the auctions. For more information, contact the Homestead Hospital Foundation office at 786-243-8054 or e-mail Kelly Quartermaine at kellyq@baptisthealth.net. For ticket information for the Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch, Craftsman Truck Series, Nov. 18-20, call (305) 230-RACE or (866) 409-RACE.
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