AUSTIN, Texas—Sembradores de Amistad, a group of Austinites helping to nurture young minds by providing financial aid for underprivileged college students, will hold a black tie ValentineÌs Day Ball on Feb. 13 to raise funds toward scholarship endowments at The University of Texas at Austin and three other colleges and universities.
Preference for the scholarships will be to students from Central Texas who are members of the first generation of their family to attend college and who qualify as being “financially and educationally disadvantaged,” said Hilbert Maldonado, president of the Austin chapter of Sembradores de Amistad. The name of the international non-profit organization, which has its headquarters in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico, means “Sowers of Friendship” in Spanish.
“Our goal is to raise enough money toward the endowment by the end of 1999 for the various universities to be able to award scholarships in the year 2000 or 2001,” said Maldonado. He said nine local families established the Austin chapter five years ago with the help of a long-established chapter in San Antonio. Membership has grown quickly thanks to community interest in higher education.
Maldonado said the ValentineÌs Day Ball, a formal event, is open to the public. Seating is limited, and tickets cannot be purchased at the door. Tickets for the dinner and dance cost $100 a couple and sponsor tables are available for $1,500 and $1,000.
“By participating, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping both present and future students,” Maldonado said. “That’s possible because the money raised goes into an endowment fund, of which only the interest will be used for scholarship awards. Proceeds from benefit events continue to build the principal so the amount of future awards will be secure and adequate regardless of economic conditions.”
The annual ball last year drew 400 people, including 22 corporate sponsors and 100 advertisers and auction donors. Their contributions helped raise $22,000 in endowment funds divided evenly between UT Austin, Concordia University at Austin, Huston-Tillotson College and St. Edwards University. The endowment funds have been building up at these institutions with additional proceeds donated by Sembradores following each Valentine’s Day Ball. With continued generosity of donors supportive of higher education, the first scholarships will be awarded next year, Maldonado said.
For additional information regarding Sembradores de Amistad, contact Maldonado at (512) 926-1634.