AUSTIN, Texas—Club Sembradores de Amistad, a group of Austinites dedicated to helping underprivileged college students, will hold its sixth annual black tie Valentine’s Day Ball on Feb. 12 to raise money for scholarship endowments at The University of Texas at Austin and three other colleges and universities.
Preference for the scholarships will be to Central Texas students who are among the first generation of their family to attend college and who qualify as being “financially and educationally disadvantaged,” said Roberto Miranda, M.D., 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.
“In the beginning of this new millennium we hope that, with the help of our supporters — corporations and friends — we will be able to continue on our mission to raise as much money as possible to support deserving young individuals who need financial assistance to attend college. We want to help them make a better life for themselves and to benefit society as a whole,” said Miranda.
The Valentine’s Day Ball, a formal event, is open to the public. Seating is limited, and tickets for the dinner and dance cannot be purchased at the door. Tickets cost $100 a couple. Sponsor tables are available at $1,500 for a gold corporate table and $1,000 for a silver corporate table. They can be obtained by contacting Hilbert R. Maldonado, chairman of the Endowments Committee, at (512) 926-1634.
Maldonado said nine local families established the Austin Sembradores chapter with the help of a long-established chapter in San Antonio. The February gala at the Omni Hotel South Park is expected to raise about $30,000, which will bring the total amount raised to about $100,000 since the 501c3 non-profit organization was formed in 1994.
The Sembradores gala proceeds go toward endowment funds at UT Austin, Concordia University at Austin, Huston-Tillotson College and St. Edwards University. Only the interest will be used for scholarship awards. Proceeds from benefit events continue to build the principal so future awards will be secure and adequate regardless of economic conditions, Maldonado said.
The first scholarship in Austin resulting from this program was awarded last February by Concordia University to one of its students, Vic Cabello of Austin. The University of Texas offered its first Sembradores scholarship in the amount of $600 just before the beginning of the fall 1999 semester to Sue Martinez, a liberal arts major from Hondo. UT Austin anticipates that as its Sembradores endowment fund accumulates interest, the amount of the scholarship award will be increased to $1,000.