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Club Sembradores fundraiser on Feb. 17 in Austin to provide scholarships for disadvantaged students

Club Sembradores de Amistad, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged college students, will hold its a black tie Valentine’s Day Ball on Feb. 17 to support scholarship endowments at The University of Texas at Austin and three other educational institutions.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Club Sembradores de Amistad, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged college students, will hold its a black tie Valentine’s Day Ball on Feb. 17 to support scholarship endowments at The University of Texas at Austin and three other educational institutions.

Austin Place 2 City Council member Raul Alvarez will serve as the master of ceremonies for the seventh annual event at the Omni Hotel South Park.

Roberto Miranda, M.D., president of the Austin chapter of Sembradores de Amistad, said preference for scholarships are given to Central Texas students who are among the first generation of their families to attend college and who qualify as being “financially and educationally disadvantaged.” He said 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 help as many underprivileged students as we can to realize their aspirations and dreams,” said Miranda. “We feel that by doing this we are giving back to the community, and that is the motive for this scholarship program. It gives us the satisfaction of knowing we are helping both present and future college students. We want to help them make a better life for themselves and to benefit society as a whole.”

The Valentine’s Day Ball, a formal event, is open to the public. Seating is limited to about 400 people, and tickets for the dinner and dance cannot be purchased at the door. Tickets cost $100 a couple. Sponsor tables are available at $2,000 for a gold corporate table and $1,250 for a silver corporate table. For details, contact Endowments Committee Chairman Hilbert R. Maldonado at (512) 733-7775.

Maldonado said nine local families established the Austin Sembradores chapter with the help of a long-established chapter in San Antonio. This year’s gala is expected to raise about $30,000, bringing the total amount raised to about $125,000 since the 501c3 non-profit organization was formed in 1994.

Sembradores gala proceeds go toward endowment funds at UT Austin, Concordia University at Austin, Huston-Tillotson College and St. Edwards University. Only the interest is 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.