MIAMI (Dec. 23, 2003)-In addition to its permanent presence as one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world, Homestead-Miami Speedway annually plays a major role as a member of the South Florida community. The Speedway hosts countless community events, sponsors numerous appearances throughout the state and donates funds to various organizations that volunteer during the Speedway's events.
"Helping the community has always been a huge priority for all of us here at Homestead-Miami Speedway," said Speedway President Curtis Gray. "During this holiday season, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the outstanding partnerships we've had throughout the year."
Over the past year, Homestead-Miami Speedway has donated over $100,000 to dozens of different organizations in the community in appreciation for the groups' assistance at the races. Proceeds from the contributions have helped many of these groups pay for items such as relief funds, uniforms, equipment, team travel and computers, to name a few.
Moreover, Homestead-Miami Speedway has continued supporting its two major community-oriented programs to the South Florida area: The Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, Speediatrics and the Homestead-Miami Speedway Education Program.
The Speediatrics project is in conjunction with the pediatrics unit at Homestead Hospital. The Speedway continues to raise funds to support the completely renovated 14-bed pediatric unit decorated in a bright, fun racing-theme throughout for the children to enjoy during their stay at the hospital.
Homestead-Miami Speedway's Education Program is an innovative educational initiative that partners Homestead-Miami Speedway and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. By using motorsports in its curriculum, subjects such as mathematics, science and technology have been taught in the public schools in way in a new, exciting way.
Included below are some highlights of Homestead-Miami Speedway's community involvement in recent months:
Aug. 25, 2003-Curtis Gray, Citizen of the Year-Curtis Gray, President of Homestead-Miami Speedway, was honored as the 46th Annual Citizen of the Year by the Civitan Club of Homestead at its banquet gala. At the event he was also awarded a key to the City of Homestead for his commitment to service as well as his contributions to the city.
Sept. 17, 2003-MAST Academy Presents Banking Analysis-Another successful venture in Homestead-Miami Speedway's continuing educational initiative with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Speedway partnered with MAST Academy's Advanced Placement Physics class to create curriculum that incorporated their enhanced physics knowledge with new math and engineering principles. The students then worked for three weeks to solve a physics problem concerning friction, velocity, banking incline and radius of curvature using the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway's banking reconfiguration as a real-life model.
As a continuation of their banking analysis, the students were invited back to the Speedway to attend a NASCAR practice session and experience the real-world application of their studies. They also participated in an interactive talk with racecar driver Geoff Bodine about the driver's perspective on the banking.
Oct. 6, 2003-South Dade Tropical Host Program-After a concerted effort by Homestead-Miami Speedway, Miami-Dade College and local community leaders, the South Dade Tropical Host program was implemented to promote South Dade's presence as a tourist destination. Recent graduates of the program received their certificate of completion at a commencement ceremony held at the track.
Oct. 14, 2003-Dale Earnhardt Jr. visits Speediatrics at Homestead Hospital-The NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway brought NASCAR Winston Cup superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, Speediatrics at Homestead Hospital during his trip to Miami to see the newly reconfigured track. Earnhardt Jr. brightened the spirits of several patients staying in the pediatric center.
Oct. 25-26, 2003-Fans First Weekend-The fans asked for it, and they got it. After purchasing a ticket to the 2003 Ford Championship Weekend, fans were the first people to drive on the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway with its improved 20-degree, variable banking. After City of Homestead City Council Members cut the ribbon in a ceremony that declared the track to be officially complete, fans began their unique lap around the track in their personal vehicle.
Nov. 5, 2003-NASCAR President Mike Helton Speaks at Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce-Homestead-Miami Speedway brought NASCAR President Mike Helton to the South Florida area as the keynote speaker during the November GMCC luncheon. During Helton's speech, he stressed the growing popularity of NASCAR and its positive impact on local economies to the South Florida business community.
Nov. 10, 2003-MDCPS Kids Day-Kid's Day at the NEW Homestead-Miami Speedway was a rousing success as over 1000 students from Miami-Dade County Public Schools came to the track during Ford Championship Weekend. After watching the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Open Practice, the students spoke with NASCAR Busch Series driver Kevin Conway about life as a race car driver and the impact of the track's new 20-degree, variable banking on racing.
Nov. 11, 2003-Champions of the Community-Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted Ford Motor Company as it conducted a major community initiative called "Champions of the Community" in Ford's on-going involvement in South Florida and NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend at the track. This initiative focuses on youth safety and education and included a hands-on teen driver safety program as well as a child safety seat education and installation program.
Nov. 14, 2003-Hot Rods and Reels Charity Bass Fishing Tournament-The fish were biting and plentiful during the Second Annual NASCAR Winston Cup Drivers Hot Rods & Reels™ Charity Fishing Tournament, held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway's infield lake. The tournament kicked off festivities at the Ford Championship Weekend, and raised money for The Darrell Gwynn Foundation to Cure Paralysis and the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, Speediatrics, at Homestead Hospital
Nov. 14, 2003-Pineapple Gala to benefit Homestead Hospital-More than 700 guests revved up at Homestead Hospital's Pineapple Gala at Homestead-Miami Speedway to raise $140,000 for children's services at the hospital, including The Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, called Speediatrics. The Speedway hosted for gala for the second year during Ford Championship Weekend.
Nov. 17, 2003-Kyle Petty Key Lime Motorcycle Ride-Over 100 motorcyclists from around the country participated in the third annual event. The motorcycle ride began at Homestead-Miami Speedway after the conclusion of Ford Championship Weekend, trekked through the Florida Keys until reaching the final destination of Key West, Fla. Proceeds from the motorcycle ride benefited Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, Speediatrics at Homestead Hospital.
Dec. 2, 2003-Georgia Pacific Teen Safety 500 Program-The Georgia Pacific Teen Safety 500 program is a hands-on, defensive driving course taught by professional instructors from the Richard Petty Driving Experience to promote safe driving practices. About 60 students from area schools participated in the half-day driving course at the Speedway which consisted of three in-car exercises including emergency stopping, over/understeering and emergency lane changing.
Dec. 4, 2003-Principal for a Day-Phil de Montmollin, Director of Public Relations at Homestead-Miami Speedway, exchanged his role as the voice of the Speedway to become a principal for the day at MAST Academy during career day.
Year-Round -Learning Experience-Students from the Learning Center, an organization supporting developmentally challenged children, have volunteered at Homestead-Miami Speedway since it first opened in 1995. The students help out with various projects throughout the year at the Speedway in a program designed to build self-confidence and promote a sense of accomplishment among the kids.