Fundraiser aids Mexican orphanage

The sweet tastes of romance, paired with an evening of fun and love, are returning to open the hearts of the community.

A local event

A local event

The sweet tastes of romance, paired with an evening of fun and love, are returning to open the hearts of the community.

The second annual Valentine’s for Mexico fundraiser gets underway at Moejoe’s Feb. 9 from 7 to 11 p.m.

The event, put on by Cotton’s Chocolates and the Sweet Smiles Foundation, features a wealth of prizes, a silent auction, dance with Kath and Tomcats, Salsa dancing from Cheek to Cheek and Valentine pictures from Red Door Photography.

The evening will also be filled with games and prizes. Burst a balloon for a chance at a Las Vegas prize pack, $600 Swarovski ring set or a seven-night stay in Orlando with tickets to Disneyworld. One lucky key will open the locked treasure box to $4,800 in jewelry, an all inclusive winner’s choice getaway and more. A pick of the litter game will give the winner a silent auction bid on any item (including an Alaskan cruise, Vegas prize pack and more) which trumps all bids.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help orphans at the House of Hope and Faith in Bonfil, Cancun.

Barrita Durward, Cotton’s Chocolates and Sweet Smiles founder, visited the orphanage after last year’s fundraiser and is returning again in March.

“This orphanage rescues and cares for children of the streets. These children have very disturbing stories and need our help,” said Durward, who has been touched by the cause. “They have been exploited, abused and abandoned.”

Receiving no government funding, the orphanage gets by with very little.

“This orphanage survives off of the kindness and generosity of others,” said Durward, adding that it is in desperate need of repairs.

“The orphanage itself is in rough shape. The amount of repairs and improvements that need to be done is simply depressing.”

Funds raised from the Valentine’s for Mexico event will help renovate the bathrooms, kitchen and pantry when Durward returns to the orphanage.

West Jet has also been instrumental in helping Durward bring extra supplies.

“I have four weeks to raise $14,000,” said Durward, who admits she had a rough upbringing therefore the cause is close to her heart. “I can’t even express to you how much this orphanage needs it.”

The house mother, Ester, opened her home up to the children 21 years ago, after a baby was left on her door step. But now Ester is receiving treatment for cancer and going through a difficult time.

“Ester and her husband are very humble and extremely giving. No child is ever turned away and they care for them like family,” said Durward.

“This amazing woman and her beautiful children really need our help,” said Durward, who is travelling with a team of four to help the orphanage. “It will be a wonderful evening filled with fun and love.”

Tickets are $10 each or $15 at the door, which includes hot food and lots of tasty chocolate treats.

Tickets can be purchased at Cotton’s Chocolates, Harris Flowers, Naturally Fit, International Trendsetters and through Jolene Campbell at the Kal Tire head office (250-938-4684).

Moejoe’s recently closed its doors but the owners are opening the club space for the Valentine’s for Mexico fundraiser.