PRESS RELEASE 19.02.2005


Pan American Cup Dedicated to Dominican Republicís First Lady
Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, Dominican Republic's First Lady

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, February 19, 2005.- The IV Womenís Volleyball Pan American Cup, the main annual womenís event of the NORCECA Confederation, to take place in June 8-19 will be dedicated to Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, the First Lady of the Dominican Republic.

The announcement was made jointly by Mr. Cristobal Marte, President of NORCECA and General Jose Anibal Sanz, President of the Dominican Council of Drugs, who is the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.

The First Lady has a Doctorate in Law from the University of Santo Domingo and Mastered in Economic Legislation at the Madre y Maestra Catholic University. She also has participated in courses and seminars at Georgegtown and Harvard University in the United States and Geneva University in Switzerland.

The Office of Dr. Cedeno de Fernandez coordinates social policies of the government of her husband Dr. Leonel Fernandez, generating programs of health and education for children, young people, single mothers and the family, in general, as a key element in society.

The proceeds of the Pan American Cup will be destined to the anti-drugs programs of the Council within underprivileged neighbourhoods communities around the Dominican Republic.

Marte and Sanz informed that the Council carries out different activities through national sports federations, associations, leagues and clubs for the prevention of drug use among the Dominican youth.

The Pan American Cup, which for the first time will be staged in a country other than Mexico, will take place in Santo Domingo The top twelve teams from North, South America and the Caribbean will compete in Santo Domingo looking for a berth in the 2006 World Grand Prix.

These teams are Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, USA and Venezuela. The top three ranked teams from the NORCECA Confederation and the first ranked of South America will automatically obtain tickets for the next year World Grand Prix, the main womenís event of the FIVB.

The twelve squads will play in two pools and two different venues both in the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Santo Domingo, a city with a population of more than two million, has been the site of the Pan American Games in 2003 and this year will host several continental competitions in volleyball, basketball and athletics