HEINEKEN AND THE CELIA CRUZ FOUNDATION TO AWARD $15,OOO GRANT TO TWO NYC LEHMAN COLLEGE STUDENTS

-Presentation to be made at Johnny Pacheco’s 50th Anniversary at the Theater at MSG on 10/20 – 

(New York, NY – October 20, 2006) Heineken USA and the Celia Cruz Foundation will award $15,000 to two adult music students from New York’s Lehman College to assist in funding their music education. Laura Bodden and Steven Oquendo will each receive checks for $7500 during a special presentation at a concert tonight to celebrate Johnny Pacheco’s 50th Anniversary in music. The event will be held at the Theater at Madison Square Gardenat 8pm.

“We at Heineken are delighted that we will play a role in supporting Laura and Steven pursue their music aspirations,” said Marime Riancho, Senior Heineken Brand Manager for Multi-cultural Markets at Heineken USA. “We are also happy to continue to support the great work of the Celia Cruz Foundation, with which we have enjoyed a great partnership since the inception of the Green Ribbons Initiative in 2003.”

Heineken donated the funds as part of their annual “Green Ribbon Initiative,” which was activated during its support of the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards in Miami this April.

The “Green Ribbon Initiative” is a national effort to donate funds to support music education programs and up and coming artists in Hispanic communities across the country.  A donation was made by Heineken USA on behalf of everyone who wore the Green Ribbons during the conference and awards. The students will also receive special ribbons worn by “Green Ribbon Initiative” spokespersons, the Latin Rock band Ozomatli, on the red carpet before the Billboard Latin Music Awards.  These special ribbons were created by up-and-coming Venezuelan designer Nick Verreos from the second season of “Project Runway.”

Since its inception, the Heineken Green Ribbons initiative has donated more than $50,000 for the Celia Cruz Foundation.

“For the last three years Heineken has been a great supporter of the Celia Cruz Foundation and this year’s generous donation is an incredible tribute to these talented musicians who undoubtedly will have bright futures in the music industry,” said Omer Pardillo cid of the Celia Cruz Foundation.

Laura Bodden is a 22-year-old voice student from the Dominican Republic who has also studied piano, cello and guitar. Her dream is to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Although only a junior at Lehman College, 25-year-old trumpet player Steven Oquendo is already a working musician who has toured the world with Celia Cruz, Destiny’s Child, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri and others.

For years, Heineken has been the official beer sponsor of the country’s premiere music events including the Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards (7 years), the Latin Grammy Awards (7 years), the Grammy Awards (3 years), Coachella and Street Scene. In 2005, Heineken also created AmsterJam, its original annual summer musical festival featuring mash-ups between chart-toppers from various music genres. This year, Heineken launched Heineken Red Star Soul, a series of live musical concerts and events to celebrate and recognize emerging and established soul artists and individuals who have blazed independent paths to success in the soul music category.

About Heineken USA

Heineken USA Inc., the nation’s largest beer importer, is a subsidiary of Heineken International BV, which is the world’s most international brewer.  Brands imported into the U.S. include:  Heineken Lager, the world’s most international beer brand; Heineken Premium Light; Amstel Light, the largest-selling imported light beer brand; and Buckler non-alcoholic brew.  Heineken USA is also the exclusive USA importer for the Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from FEMSA Cerveza of Mexico.  Please visit EnjoyHeinekenResponsibly.com.

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