Homestead-Miami to host 2nd Annual Blood and Marrow Drive on Sept. 11

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Kenny Conidaris is not your typical NASCAR fan. Last year, this 13-year-old Tony Stewart devotee was diagnosed with bone-marrow disorder Severe Aplastic Anemia and awaits a transplant. As one of thousands of South Floridians who can benefit from blood and bone marrow, the Fort Myers resident knows first-hand of the needs in this region.

"A lot of people like Kenny need blood and marrow but don't get it," said his mother, Kathy. "There are always shortages on both."

On Tuesday, Sept. 11—in partnership with Florida's Blood Centers and Kids Beating Cancer—Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the 2nd Annual "Spirit of America" Blood and Bone Marrow Drive (noon to 9:11 p.m.). Donors will be entered to win two tickets to the FORD 300 NASCAR Busch Series finale.

Complimentary lunch will be served at the Speedway, and gift bags—featuring gift certificates, wrist bands, posters and collectable race cars—will be provided to donors.

The event is part of the NASCAR Foundation Blood and Marrow Drive, a circuit-wide event that partners with Hendrick Marrow Program and the Jimmy Johnson Foundation. Last year, the Speedway helped Florida's Blood Centers collect more than 50 pints of blood.

“NASCAR has a really big impact on people,” Kathy said. “Getting Homestead-Miami Speedway involved is a great way to get the point across and increase awareness about the need for blood and marrow donors.”

Founded in 1942, Florida’s Blood Centers (FBC) is the largest independent blood center in the state and the fourth largest in the nation—collecting more than 350,000 pints of blood annually from volunteers. FBC will partner with Kids Beating Cancer on Sept. 11 at HMS to register bone-marrow donors.

“Homestead-Miami Speedway has a huge following as part of the NASCAR circuit,” said Juan Kouri, FBC Regional Director. “[It] can only help blood and marrow donations. The appeal is that people have an opportunity to get close to the racetrack, while at the same time doing good for the community.”

Continuing research of a cure for Kenny’s Severe Aplastic Anemia is just one benefit provided by blood and marrow donors. Other recipients include accident victims, cancer patients, premature babies, burn victims, and those undergoing open-heart surgery, neurosurgery or liver transplants.

“It’s important to give other people more than one chance to live,” Kenny said. “I want to help other people, and I think [HMS] and NASCAR are doing a great thing.
Please join us tomorrow, Sept. 11, at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 2007 “Spirit of America” Blood and Marrow Drive, from noon to 9:11 p.m. The Speedway is located at One Speedway Blvd. in Homestead, Fla. For more information, please call (305) 230-5000.

Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 16-18) are STILL AVAILABLE. The Ford 200/Craftsman Truck race is set for Friday and the Ford 300/Busch on Saturday; the weekend culminates with Sunday’s Ford 400—the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

In addition to the races, Ford Championship Weekend includes the Ford Racefest extravaganza—featuring live concerts, interactive exhibits, NASCAR drivers and the NEXTEL Cup trophy on display—the Homestead-Miami Speedway Celebrity Golf Classic, the Hot Rods & Reels fishing tournament and Ford’s “Bailando Por La Copa” (“Dancing for the Cup”) salsa finals.

For tickets, please call (866) 409-RACE or visit www.Ractickets.com. For information on all Homestead-Miami Speedway events—including the “Passport to Prizes” program, group sales and private track rental—please visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.

 

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