The Gray & Pink Event was held on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at the Boca Grande Cantina in Jersey City, NJ to raise funds for brain and breast cancer. The event was hosted by Christian Betancourt and Yesenia Peralta.Performances included Sekou Mcmiller Dance Project, Mon Dancers, Marcus and Diana, Caribbean Soul Bachata, Dezmen, and Guillermo E. Ayala (Michael Jackson tribute). Music was provided by DJ JR Salsero, DJ Alex Poderoso, and guest DJs.About the host Christian Betancourt
Staff Sergeant Christian Betancourt is a thirty year old born and raised in West New York, New Jersey to parents of Colombian ethnicity. Christian has served eleven years in the NJ Army NationalGuard including two tours in the Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign in 2004-2005 and in 2008-2009, both in Baghdad, Iraq. In 2004, a specialist at the time, he performed his duty as a gunner with convoy operations working over 5,000 missions in the worst areas of Baghdad. In his spare time, he took salsa lessons on base and started a social environment with other soldiers to bring the morale up. On June 4th and June 5th his company lost four soldiers, killed in action by roadside bombs. While on base, Christian started a clothes and toy drive for Iraqi children in the Baghdad area called “Hand in Hand” along with his old high school teacher a Vietnam Veteran.
In 2008, Sergeant Betancourt reported back to Iraq for a Detainee Operations Mission working as a Sergeant of the Block. Working at a Top Secret High Valued Detainee Center, Christian treated all detainees with dignity and respect, completing the mission successfully. In his spare time, he gave salsa lessons to fellow soldiers and US Contractors to boost the base’s morale. Since being home from the last deployment,
Christian has hosted different charity events such as the Haiti Benefit, The Andy Garcia Cancer Fundraiser and recently the 1st Annual Brain Cancer All Black Affair. In January 2011, Christian was diagnosed with a thalamic glioma, an inoperable malignant brain tumor.
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