Friends of the Orphans event raises $50,000

By Lee Stephens….

Mexican actress/comedienne Angelica Vale and singer PeeWee hosted the gala event.

Celebrities and more than 200 guests at the second annual “All the World to One Child” cocktail gala on Friday, Oct. 21, planted seeds of hope for the thousands of orphaned and abandoned children living at the Friends of the Orphans network of homes in Latin America and the Caribbean.

By the end of the evening, at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, nearly $50,000 was raised in support of Friends of the Orphans.

Following a red carpet entrance by the evening’s hosts, singer PeeWee and Mexican actress/comedienne Angelica Vale, actress and guest of honor Angelica Maria, actress Laura Zapata, international model Blanca Soto and broadcast journalist Neida Sandoval, the guests were treated to a sultry fire dancer performance, culinary delights by the chefs at AJoy Wallace catering and cocktails courtesy of Bacardi USA.

Guests then made their way to the upstairs ballroom and enjoyed delectable food stations that included sushi, fresh made risotto and sliced churrasco steak with signature chimichurri sauce. Wine was provided generously by Agostón Wine.

PeeWee and Vale hosted the evening’s festivities, introducing Aurora Zacarias of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Mexico, who shared her touching and inspirational story of resilience and success, defeating all odds as a young orphan to become a successful businesswoman and traveler.

Aurora was later serenaded by singer PeeWee, who uplifted the crowd with his voice. Guest of honor Angelica Maria was later surprised with the second Friends of the Orphans Humanitarian Award with a presentation of a Phil Fung painting in her likeness. The actress has been a long-time supporter of Friends of the Orphans and other organizations that support disadvantaged children around the world.

Once the presentation concluded, guests took to the dance floor with the deejay sounds of the evening and at one point were escorted around the room by samba dancers in full carnival dress. The silent auction and raffle — which included a Cartier watch, several Tiffany jewelry items, exotic vacation packages, and artwork by international renowned artists — were major attractions.

“The outpouring of support for Friends of the Orphans was obvious at the gala with our sold out attendance and incredible number of celebrity guests who all shared a common bond and goal that evening, to improve the lives of the children that benefit from our organization’s network of orphanages, hospitals and community outreach programs in nine countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Ana Martinez, Regional Development Manager, Friends of the Orphans Southeast Region.

For more information on Friends of the Orphans, visit the website at or call 786-286-2656.

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