Beate’s writing this from “sunny” Toronto! I’m writing this blog to officially thank everyone for their amazing generosity during our fundraising event held on March 9th, Shum deSalsa Dancing 2017.

Dailyn Martinez, owner of ShumdeSalsa dance company and my super “sabrosa” salsa teacher, so wanted to help HATS, after she had heard my stories. With her inspiration and my love for HATS, we became co-hosts of the fundraising event, which included, of course, lots of dancing.

Dailyn started the evening by performing a spectacular African dance that she had learned during her training in Cuba. Dailyn beautifully depicted Yemayá, the ocean mother and a strongly protective figure, who cares deeply for all her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. How fitting was this dance to our organization: “it’s all about the children.”

Dailyn Yemayá

Dailyn Yemayá

Dailyn Yemayá

Dailyn Yemayá

Dailyn Orisha with crown

Dailyn Orisha with crown

I gave a speech followed by a short movie that I had put together, and I saw a few people wiping their eyes…I really had to keep it together, because when I talk about the children at HATS and my dear friend Karen Huxter, I truly do get emotional.

Fran and Mike during Beate's speech

Fran and Mike during Beate’s speech

We sold tickets for amazing raffle prizes, and at last count, we raised $1200 in cash plus hundreds of dollars worth of needed items were given. All of this I will be able to take with me to Haiti in August. I’m hoping a few people were inspired to sponsor a school child as well. I had so many people come up to me and thank me for the work that HATS does.

HATS Basket and label

HATS Basket and label

Fingers crossed raffle draw

Fingers crossed raffle draw

Overall, I felt so proud of our first event. Dailyn is magical when it comes to getting everyone up to dance. Even those who proclaim to have two left feet joined in on a huge group Rueda (salsa circle dance).

Tracy, Miriam, Satmoi and Mohammed

Tracy, Miriam, Satmoi and Mohammed

Nosakhare leading

Nosakhare leading

Nosakhare and Satmoi

Nosakhare and Satmoi

Chris and Beate

Chris and Beate

We danced well beyond our time limit and I want to thank Big City Productions Toronto, for that. Thanks to Shawna and Mike (my daughter) and friends Sierra and Lori for setting up (along with others who I bossed around J); Robert for being our photographer; and the many wonderful people who donated to our raffle table.

Thank you too to Kevin and Meagan from myINDIEcoffee.com for all of your help in getting the coffee bar set up, and pitching in. Don’t you just love the bags??? I’m also selling this delicious coffee for $15.00/bag with proceeds going to HATS. Simply order online, and enter the promo code: hatshaiticoffee.

HATS Coffee

HATS coffee pot

HATS coffee pot

Once again, thank you everyone for your time and energy…your donations are greatly appreciated…and thank you for spreading the word about the wonderful work that is being done at Hands Across the Sea.

One Suitcase ready for HATS

One Suitcase ready for HATS

In friendship,

~Beate

Here are a few more photos of the evening. Enjoy!

HATS group shot

HATS group shot

Sophie and IndieCoffee crew Kevin and Meagan

Sophie and IndieCoffee crew Kevin and Meagan

Ben, Sierra and Shawna at front table

Ben, Sierra and Shawna at front table

Beate and Dailyn

Beate and Dailyn

Satmoi and Dailyn

Peter

Peter

Susan and Friend

Susan and Friend

Maria, Nancy and Sophie

Maria, Nancy and Sophie

Dailyn and MIke

Dailyn and MIke

Arturo and Friend

Arturo and Friend

Arnold and Miriam

Arnold and Miriam