NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 30: Preparations at the Ford Motor Company booth for the 2016 Essence Festival on Thursday, June 30, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Ford Motor Company)

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Ford Motor Company)

Marking 2016 as Ford’s eighth consecutive year as an exclusive automotive sponsor of the ESSENCE Festival, the company pulled out all the stops for this year’s festivities with their dynamic booth display showing off some of their best and newest rides, allowing the public to even test drive the vehicles.

Sirius XM was also on-site to broadcast live from the Ford booth during the entire weekend and conducted interviews with your favorite celebrities like Sevyn Streeter, Maxwell, Chrisette Michelle, Ro James, New Edition, Tony Gaskins and the cast of STARZ hit series’ Power and Survivor’s Remorse.

As mentioned, Ford’s latest lineup of vehicles was on full display at the Ford booth including the 2017 Ford GT, 2017 Ford Fusion Sport, Shelby Mustang GT350, and Ford Focus RS. The company was giving away the keys to a new 2017 Ford Fusion to one lucky winner. Four lucky contestants had the chance to compete on stage, alongside Nephew Tommy, to win the keys to the brand new car.

Also, Festival attendees had the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the 2016 Ford Explorer, 2017 Ford Fusion and 2017 Ford Escape.

Kicking things off at the start of the festival on Friday, July 1, the brand started their charity initiative, Ford Warriors in Pink to raise funds and bring awareness to breast cancer. Ford donated $20 for each of the first 250 test drives (total of $5,000) on July 1 to support Young Survival Coalition. Over $130 million has been donated towards the fight against breast cancer through Ford’s ‘Warriors in Pink.’

(Photo by Peter Forest/Ford Motor Company)

(Photo by Peter Forest/Ford Motor Company)

Lastly, Ford hosted an exclusive Media and Influencer Dinner, which included SFPL‘s very own Gabriel Williams amongst many others held at Mardi Gras World, an indoor Bayou themed location that gives the nostalgia of what NOLA is all about.

Attendees were treated to New Orleans inspired dishes, especially the all-time favorite, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, and the well-known popular drink, The Hurricane. Great food, great conversations, a great time.

Manager of Ford Multicultural Communications, Raj Register hosted the evening along with Life/Relationship Expert, Tony Gaskins.

Raj greeted the attendees and spoke on a few initiatives that Ford was working on paired with a very new ad campaign, as well as, introducing Tony for those that may not have been familiar with the budding self-made expert/entrepreneur. You may remember him as he recently appeared a few times as a special guest on K. Michelle‘s My Life on VH1, counseling the songstress through her troubled relationships.

Mr. Gaskins is also apart of the Ford campaign where he was featured in the official commercial.

In the video clip, he quotes:

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs…”

Take a look below:

While speaking at the dinner, Tony gave insight on what his life was like in the past, and how he needed to grow up and take control of his life. Fascinated with money, girls, selling drugs and eventually being kicked out of college on a full football scholarship, Gaskins soon realized that he was heading down the wrong path.

Starting on a new quest, he then thought to himself that he could help others through their process without necessarily worrying about money. Moving in a more positive direction, Gaskins raised his own brand from the ground up, now holding his positions as an esteemed Life Coach and Author, not to mention a Father, and Husband.

Congrats to Tony on his major accomplishments.

Remember to Dream Big but also build that Dream.

 

 

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