Freedom Calls to Connect Families before Race
The Freedom Calls Foundation, a New York City based charity, was formed by Ed Bukstel and John Harlow to allow front-line troops to communicate with loved ones at home.
"The foundation was formed as a public charity because we believe family is important, particularly in wartime," said Harlow, executive director of the Freedom Calls Foundation. "This is the least the American people can do to show their appreciation for the sacrifices being made by our soldiers and their families."
Prior to the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14, each participating family will have 20 minutes to interact with their loved one in Iraq via the Freedom Call Foundation's video conferencing system.
Joe Nemechek, driver of the No. 01 Army Chevrolet, and Greg Biffle, who pilots the No. 16 National Guard Ford, are scheduled to meet with family members and will interact with the troops during several of the video conference calls.
The video conferences will be recorded and highlights will be shown on the NEXTEL Vision screens prior to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
All families participating in the Freedom Calls have been invited to attend the Dollar General 300 and UAW-GM Quality 500 as guests of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Freedom Calls Foundation has deployed its telephone and video conferencing service in three military facilities in Iraq, giving 30,000 military personnel 24-hour-a-day access to the organization's service.
Freedom Calls has conducted conference events in conjunction with numerous sporting events, including NFL football games and college basketball games, but the UAW-GM Quality 500 marks the first conference to be conducted in conjunction with a NASCAR race.
"We are honored the Freedom Calls Foundation selected Charlotte Motor Speedway and the UAW-GM Quality 500 to connect these families with their loved ones in Iraq," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We greatly appreciate these young men and women who are protecting our freedom and it is our pleasure to treat these families to two exciting nights of NASCAR racing."
Tickets for the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Oct. 14, and the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event on Saturday night, Oct. 15, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online here.
Details about the Freedom Calls Foundation, including contribution information, can be obtained at www.freedomcalls.org.