COMMUNITY CORNERElvis was in the building (or at least his best-known impersonator was) when Charity Coalition (CC) hosted its annual fundraising extravaganza dinner at the University Club last Saturday night.
The dinner, which was attended by nearly 200 people decked out in brightly colored aloha shirts and muumuus, had an Elvis Presley in Hawaii theme and was dedicated to raising money to support eight Mexican nonprofit organizations: the American Benevolent Society (ABS), the Asociación Franciscana, the Asociación Pro Personas con Parálisis Celebral (APAC), the Fundación Barra Mexicana, the Fundación Domus Alipio, the Fundación de Cáncer de Mama (Fucam), the Fundación para la Asistencia Educativa, the Casa de la Sal and Rescate de la Antigua Christ Church.“The Charity Coalition is an umbrella organization that helps other charities by[caption id="attachment_4255" align="alignright" width="289"]
Charity Coalition president Francesca D’Agata, left, with CC vice president Lynda Finegold Martínez del Campo. Photo: The News/Thérèse Margolis
[/caption]donating needed goods and supplies,” explained the CC’s president and founder Francesca D’Agata.Now in its seventh year, the multi-service Charity Coalition has so far supported 12 local charities and is currently looking into becoming involved with a new program spearheaded by the ABS and U.S. Embassy in Mexico and sponsored by a $60,000 grant from the International Rotary Club to help legally register children born to undocumented workers living in the United States who have since returned back to Mexico, D’Agata said.She also said that she is exploring the possibility of working with successful Mexicans in Miami, Florida – where she now lives – to help raise money for charitable projects in Mexico.“Every penny we spend to help local charities comes from donations from the community,” she said.“We organize a number of fundraisers each year, but our annual extravaganza dinner is our most important fundraiser.”The food, drinks, locale and even the entertainment for the Elvis dinner were donated by individuals and organizations.The theme of the dinner varies each year, with the last extravaganza coined Diamonds and Denim.“This year, we decided to go with an Elvis theme because everyone loves Elvis, and Mexico is blessed to have Héctor Ortiz, one of the best Elvis impersonators in the world,” she said.And Ortiz did not disappoint.[caption id="attachment_4254" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Héctor Ortiz wowed guests at the Elvis Hawaiian Extravaganza Saturday night with his interpretation of the King of Rock’n’Roll. Photo: The News/Thérèse Margolis
[/caption]Swaying his hips in sultry Jailhouse Rock fashion and belting out a repertoire of Elvis classics that ran the gamut from “Always On My Mind” to “Suspicious Minds,” the BBC-proclaimed “best Presley impersonator in the world” wowed the audience with his iconic tribute to the King of Rock’n’Roll.Later, he wandered through the crowd passing out satin Elvis-style scarves and hugging and kissing a flood of young fans from 19 to 90 as they swooned to his dynamic rendition of “Love Me Tender.”D’Agata would not say how much the CC hoped to raise from the Elvis event, but between the cost of tickets and the sale of more than 40 items donated for a silent auction, the CC easily cleared at least 250,000 pesos, all of which will go to buy goods for the various charities under the wing of the CC.“We acknowledge the work and contributions of all the people who support us so that we can help our charities improve the lives of their beneficiaries,” D’Agata said.She noted that, in order to maintain transparency and avoid duplication of efforts, the CC does not provide money but rather material assistance, as needed, to the charities it supports.The organizations that will benefit from the CC Elvis night are: the ABS, which offers supports to U.S. citizens living in Mexico and others in need; the Asociación Franciscana, which shelters more than 1,000 stray dogs and cats; APAC, which provides support and education for children with cerebral palsy and their families; the Fundación Barra Mexicana, which assists people and institutions with legal guidance; the Fundación Domus Alipio, a home for HIV-positive widows and their children; Fucam a hospital that treats financially strapped patients with breast cancer; the Fundación para la Asistencia Educativa, a preschool and kindergarten for children living in and around the Chimalhuacán garbage dump; the Casa de la Sal community center for children and adults who are HIV-positive; and Rescate de la Antigua Christ Church, a program to help maintain and restore the old Christ Church Cathedral in the Centro Histórico, which was built in 1895 in honor of the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.[caption id="attachment_4258" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
Ortiz and his backup band. Photo: The News/Thérèse Margolis
More information on the Charity Coalition
The Coalition’s offices are located inside Union Church at Avenida Paseo de la Reforma 1870 in suite 206 (tel: 6840-5905). For more information, to join the Coalition or to attend its events, consult the organization’s webpage at www.charity-coalition.org. The organization can also be reached through its Facebook page at CharityCoalition or via Twitter at @CharityCMexico.