Ford’s ‘Champions of the Community’ Program to Benefit Local Families

Ford’s ‘Champions of the Community’ Program to Benefit Local Families


MIAMI, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 23, 2003–“It’s one thing to say you are involved in a community and its families. It’s another to show it.”

With those words, Francisco Codina, vice president, Ford Customer Service Division, Ford Motor Company, announced today a unique, multi-faceted program called “Champions of the Community,” which is designed to benefit Miami area children and families.

“Champions of the Community” is an innovative joint program that leverages the Hispanic community initiatives developed by Ford Motor Company Fund with Ford Racing to reach families in new and more effective ways. The culmination of the initiative is a special day of programs on Nov. 11, at Homestead Miami Speedway in conjunction with the Ford Championship Weekend NASCAR races.

On Nov. 11, Ford will host two programs at Homestead Miami Speedway: Real World Driver, a teen driving program launched earlier this year; and Corazon de Mi Vida (“You are the center of my life”), a Latino child passenger safety program created by the National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI).

Real World Driver is a four-part program, teaching teen drivers lessons in hazard recognition, vehicle handling, safety management, and speed management. Ford Racing drivers will be assigned to work with instructors of each lesson.

Corazon de Mi Vida brings Latino families together for instruction on the proper use and installation of child safety seats. By taking into account Latino cultural traditions and lifestyles, NLCI focuses on what resonates with the Latino community and builds on the good things parents are already doing for their children

In addition, one other program has already been underway in conjunction with Ford Fund’s involvement in Hispanic Heritage Month and the Miami Herald’s Newspaper in Education (NIE) program. The NIE program features an art contest for 4th through 8th grade students with the theme – “Transportation in the Next 100 Years.” Four finalists chosen from 482 entries were unveiled at a luncheon with community leaders , and the winner’s design will be adapted as the paint scheme for the #14 Ford F-150 truck that will compete in Friday, Nov. 14’s Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck race.

Codina was also joined by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car points leader, Tony Pedregon, as the two debuted a pair of new television Public Service Announcements which encourage viewers to get involved with youth outreach and mentoring programs within their communities. The PSAs, which will debut statewide starting November 1, will air in both English and Spanish, and are part of Ford’s on-going involvement in America’s Promise.

Pedregon, a Ford Mustang driver, is one of six Ford Racing drivers featured in the PSAs, along with Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a long-time supporter of mentoring programs in Florida.

“All of these initiatives are designed to show the people of the greater Miami area that Ford and its dealers are not just part of this community, but also active participants when it comes to delivering programs and initiatives that benefit families,” said Codina.

“Our sponsorships of such events such at the PGA’s Ford Championship at Doral, the Grand Prix Americas in downtown Miami, and the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead all show that we and our dealers are committed to being involved in this community and its major events. But our commitment to communities goes beyond our sponsorships and is focused on developing and delivering programs like “Champions of the Community,” that touch and positively impact the quality of life for the people of South Florida.”



Ford Racing Public Affairs

Greg Shea, 313.203.7208


Ford Division Public Affairs

Mitch Johnson, 313.248-4875

Ford’s ‘Champions of the Community’ Program to Benefit Local Families