"BeLIVE" from Miami: Juan Pablo, Juanes and one impressive NASCAR contingent
As the sporting world trains its eyes on Homestead, Fla., for the Nov. 16-18
Ford Championship Weekend—NASCAR's series-crowning race in the Chase for the
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, and the Busch and Craftsman Truck series finales—some of
NASCAR's most prominent figures will focus on a South American country located
2000 miles away.
NEXTEL Cup-circuit points-leading rookie Juan Pablo Montoya will be joined by fellow-Colombian pop-star Juanes ("A Dios Le Pido," "Nada Valgo sin tu Amor," "La Camisa Negra") and a slew of NASCAR celebs at the Nov. 15 "BeLIVE 2007 Gala" in Miami's Art District. BeLIVE 2007 will bring together Colombia's distinguished musical artists, sports figures, and international business and civil society leaders to celebrate foundations dedicated to helping those in need.
Montoya and friends will gather at Miami's Karu & Y restaurant from 7-11 p.m. in an event open to the public for a $500 charitable donation. Activities for the gala include dinner, a silent auction, a fashion show and an unplugged presentation from Juanes.
"We're very grateful that Homestead-Miami Speedway and NASCAR have shown a lot of interest in our event," said Claudia Giardinella, event coordinator for the gala. "To have Juan Pablo so involved—and through him, to have NASCAR involved—is huge.
"The Hispanic community in the U.S. is showing a lot of interest in NASCAR, which is not a traditional Hispanic sport. When we approach donors and tell them that Juan Pablo Montoya, Homestead-Miami Speedway and NASCAR are helping us, they are very impressed, very interested and they want to participate."
As the first Latin-born NEXTEL Cup driver, Montoya and friends aim to educate NASCAR fans about the problems facing their home country, which has been engaged in civil war for four decades, with violence, illegal drug production and human rights violations very common.
The black-tie gala event will benefit the non-profit organizations of five famous Colombians: "Formula Smiles," founded by Montoya and wife Connie; “Fundación Mi Sangre," founded by Juanes; “Give to Colombia,” founded by Orlando Ayala, Microsoft VP of Sales, Marketing and Service; “Colombianitos,” founded by CNN International anchor Ángela Patricia Janiot; and “United for Colombia,” founded by Latin American activist Gabriela Febres Cordero. The groups are coordinating for the first time to raise money to contribute to the prosperity and development of vulnerable communities in Colombia, via high-impact efforts in the country.
“Colombia has been under violent conflict for the last 40 years,” Giardinella said. “These organizations have benefited thousands of children, internally displaced and disabled persons, female head-of-households and rural low-income communities in Colombia in the areas of health, education, nutrition and social development.”
Tickets for BeLIVE 2007 are available to the public for $500. For more information, please visit www.BeLiveColombia.org or call (305)
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval Nov. 16-18, as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series all crown champions under the lights. Additional festivities include Ford Racefest—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” salsa-dance finals. For tickets, please call (866) 409-RACE or visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.