Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Night set for Saturday's Crew game vs. the MetroStars

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Night, Major League Soccer's fully integrated national marketing initiative targeted toward the growing Hispanic community, will take place on Saturday, September 18, as part of The Crew's game vs. the MetroStars at 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium.

Included in Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Night is the final of the Second Annual Dominion Homes Copa Victoria adult Hispanic soccer tournament. The final of the 24-team, single-elimination tournament will pit Columbus Victory vs. Panteras at 4:30 p.m., prior to The Crew game.

Saturday's Crew game will also provide an entertaining and family-oriented evening dedicated to honoring various Hispanic traditions and customs including a pre-game Hispanic festival with interactive games, product sampling and ethnic food, pre-game entertainment and musical guests and on-field recognition of local "Hispanic Heroes" and community leaders. Banda San Bernardo will be playing in the Crew Kicker Plaza from 6-7:15 p.m., and Dora the Explorer, courtesy of Nickelodeon and Time Warner, will also be in the plaza.

The leaders who will be recognized at Halftime of Saturday's game are: Pedro Reyes Clemente (Liga Interlatinos La Voz Hispana de Futbol), Alex Flores (La Voz Hispana Newspaper), Daniel Ruggiero (Huntington Bank Mortgage / former Homes in the Hill Director), Aireen Aguilar (Damas Latinas / Latin Ladies Organization), Ramona Reyes (Senior Marketing Analyst, Diverse Markets (RISA)), Colleen Lopez (Dominion Homes), Sheila Barnhart (MSW/ Bilingual Medical Social Worker, Mount Carmel West; Obstetrics), Gianella Martinez (Centro Esperanza Latina), Edward Sanchez (Realtor, HER Realty), Juan and Carissa Morales (owners of Cuco's Restaurant), Mari Carmen (Chair, LEON Health Committee Community Health Educator), Leticia Vazquez-Ferrero (volunteer with Latino Arts for Humanity), Lupe Velasquez (President, Creative Marketing Division, Alianza Media), Ignacio Garcia (owner, Garcia's Restaurant), Erika Shell-Castro (Manager, interpretive services, Grant/Riverside Hospitals), Ruben Herrera (Organizational consultant and community activist), Elizabeth Martinez (Program Coordinator, Big Brothers Big Sisters), Gianella Martinez (Centro Esperanza Latina), Cheryl Boyce (Ohio Commission on Minority Health), Mount Carmel Community Outreach Program (Mount Carmel Hospital, Joy Parker - Director of Outreach), Teresa Al-Soudani (OhioHealth), Mario Cabrera (Cabrera Inc.), Luis Rocha (Alcoholicos Anonimos), Lilli James (Community Refugee & Immigration Services) and Kira Alba (Volunteer for SARNCO).

Leading up to this Saturday, Crew Stadium also hosted the "Mexican Independence Day" Festival on Wednesday, September 15.

The Budweiser Hispanic Heritage Nights are in their fourth year with each of the 10 MLS teams hosting a specific night. Budweiser is the presenting sponsor of the program that celebrates the culture of the varied Hispanic communities in the United States.

During the League's nine-year history, players from Latin American countries and with Hispanic backgrounds have made enormous contributions in helping the League grow and be where it is today. Colombia's Carlos Valderrama, Mexico's Jorge Campos, Ecuador's Ariel Graziani, El Salvador's Raul Diaz Arce and Mauricio Cienfuegos, and Bolivia's Marco Etcheverry laid the foundation for the many talented players from South and Central America to ply their trade in MLS. There are nearly 40 players of Hispanic background in MLS representing 12 different Latin American countries.


Fire devastated a community in West Columbus in the early hours of Sunday, Sept. 12. Ten people were killed and dozens more displaced as a result of the deadliest fire Columbus residents have seen since 1930. Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus were called to the scene at 5:00 a.m.

The Crew will donate a portion of its proceeds from Saturday's game to the Red Cross to help the victims of this deadly fire and the Red Cross will also be present at the game collecting donations.

The Red Cross estimates its relief efforts will run close to $17,000. Almost $15,000 has already been provided to residents for the purchase of food, clothing, bedding, and replacement medications.

Thirty-five Red Cross volunteers and staff have provided financial assistance, health services, cots and blankets to 48 individuals, including 37 adults and 11 children. Food, water and coffee were provided throughout the day Sunday and Monday to residents of the destroyed building as well as emergency personnel. Teddy bears and comfort kits were distributed and Red Cross personnel, with the help of members of the local community, monitored the crowd for signs of emotional and physical distress as hundreds of children and adults waited outside while officials retrieved remains of those deceased and searched for the cause of the fire.

Red Cross personnel will continue to work with the local community to ensure all who have experienced loss as a result of this tragedy receive help.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of Hurricanes Charley and Frances, those whose lives were shattered by fire and thousands of other disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emergency medication, counseling, and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local Red Cross chapter. In Franklin, Madison and Fayette counties, send donations to the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, 995 East Broad St., Columbus, OH 43205. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

Columbus Crew vs. MetroStars
Saturday, September 18 - 7:30 p.m.
Columbus Crew Stadium

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