Andrea Ocampo Haley is a model and actress, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and an arena host for the Florida Panthers, who flipped that fame into a role as entertainment reporter for CNN En Español. It goes without saying that the Delray Beach resident knows where the party is at.
“I’m up at 3 a.m. every morning,” she says, bravely.
But it’s not what you think. Last month, she joined the morning radio show at KVJ, Hits 97.3, with Kevin Rolston, Virginia Sinicki and Jason Pennington, who start at 5:30 a.m. “It’s a little challenging, but, hey, it’s my passion,” she says. “And I have my coffee.”
Along with demystifying the morning traffic, the bilingual Ocampo Haley (her family is from Colombia) spices up the show with the back stories on subjects she covers for CNN En Español, from Miley Cyrus to Barbie’s controversial appearance in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
As a former cheerleader who spent plenty of time scantily clad in front of thousands of eyeballs, Ocampo Haley has a take. When she looks at the SI swimsuit issue, she sees a group of healthy, strong, career-driven women who are taking advantage of an opportunity.
“When I was a cheerleader, I never felt objectified,” says Ocampo Haley, originally a professional dancer. “It was about being healthy, working out with my sisters. [The Dolphins cheerleaders] are an amazing sisterhood. And it gave me an opportunity to break into broadcasting. It’s total girl power.”
A similar theme is at work for Ocampo Haley’s other passion, the charitable efforts of Miami Model Citizens, a group of local beauties who raise money for a variety of organizations, including Paws 4 You Rescue, the American Cancer Society, the Lighthouse for the Blind, Easter Seals South Florida and Humane Society of Greater Miami. The organization was founded by Miami philanthropist Ben Wilson and popular model Lisa Morales.
Miami Model Citizens have the obligatory fundraising calendar and do personal appearances that are not limited to swanky South Beach pool parties. For instance, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Morales, Ocampo Haley and fellow calendar model Damaris Aguiar will make an appearance at Books and Books in Coral Gables.
“We don’t just prance around in bikinis,” Ocampo Haley says with a laugh. “But you can buy a calendar and see us in a bikini.”
The timing of the event is meant to be convenient for girls thinking about a modeling career, she says.
“We’ll talk about how we broke into the business and a lot of the misconceptions. It’s an opportunity for them to get some honest information about the industry,” she says. “Once people get to meet us up close and personal, they learn that this is a group of wonderful women, they’re smart, and they’re unifying their powers for something good.”
THE RIVER WILD
In case you want to start building this weekend, know that the third annual New River Raft Race will return to downtown Fort Lauderdale 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 5, with a staging area at Esplanade Park featuring live music (the New Revolution Band), food and drink (that kind) and a kids’ play area. The “race” is free to enter, but because they know you, the sponsors at the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale are offering to build you an 8-by-12-foot raft (for a crew of three to five) for $750, or an 8-by-16-footer for $1,300. The theme this year is “Pirates of the River” (isn’t it always?), with prizes for best design, best pirate spirit, best branded and fastest raft. We will also give a prize to the person who goes all day without uttering, “Arrrgh.” Info: NewRiverRaftRace.com.
Reminder: The teeth-rattling Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden take their 23-city co-headlining tour to the Cruzan Amphitheatre on Aug. 10. Tickets cost $29.50-$99.50 and go on sale noon Friday at LiveNation.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and at 800-745-3000. More info: NIN.com and SoundgardenWorld.com.
The city of Fort Lauderdale is looking for artists to help them design and install three painted intersections and crosswalks downtown. If that sounds like you, request a proposal package from Keela Black Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals are due by 2:30 p.m. April 14.
EASY DOES IT
When ESPN’s “SportsNation” needed to get in the New Orleans spirit during last year’s Super Bowl week, they hired a house band, the Stooges Brass Band, who are straight out of the Big Easy, but were nearby that week, selling out New York hotspots including the Cutting Room, Brooklyn Bowl and Webster Hall. On Saturday the Stooges will bring that authenticity to the inaugural CrawDebauchery Music Festival in the field at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater (1806 NE Sixth St.), along with the Crescent City’s Bonerama, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers (led by the son of the great Rockin’ Dopsie) and many others. Tickets: $27.50 advance, $33 day of show. Info: 888-302-5442, CrawDebauchery.com.
The Young Professionals for Covenant House are known for the boozy good cheer of their many fundraising parties, pub crawls and Bus Loops (the next one is May 30 in Fort Lauderdale). But on Friday, they’ll get a little more serious with Covenant House Florida Sleep Out: Young Professionals Edition. The 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., outdoor get-together at the CHF’s Fort Lauderdale office (733 Breakers Ave.) will raise awareness and money through individual and team pledges to support homeless youth. Info: YoungPros.net.
MEET JESUS OF SUBURBIA
Green Day’s politically charged punk-rock opera “American Idiot” was released three years after 9-11, when the album’s disillusioned protagonist, Jesus of Suburbia, was thrashing against the cynical decline of "subliminal mind-f--k America." It remains an intelligent and daring cri de coeur, a time capsule of the tension felt by a generation coming of age during the Bush years. A decade later, the theatrical version of “American Idiot” will begin a 13-day run at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, and we were happy to read that musical arranger Tom Kitt was sensitive to both the ethos of the band, and the passion its fans have for this album. “I was thinking that this has to feel like a Green Day album,” Kitt said in an interview with the Sun Sentinel’s Rod Stafford Hagwood. “This can’t be like something else. Whenever I questioned anything [I was doing], I asked myself, ‘Is this serving Green Day?’ I was led by the band and the book of the show.” Info: 954-462-0222, BrowardCenter.org.