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Ninette Santos Outstanding Community Service Award recipient Irene Stewart (2nd from left) with Isabelle Kayla Chico, Dale Stewart, Dr. Violeta Singson, & Dr. May Azcueta 

FAAWIS Dinner Dance 2017

September 9, 2017
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee


Co-Chairs:
Sheila Jackson, Maria Salomon-Yumang
Members:
Nela Mendoza-Lemes,
Mareta Prill, Joyce Coury
Board members and officers


FAAWIS Dinner Dance 2016>>
FAAWIS Dinner Dance 2015>>
FAAWIS Dinner Dance 2014>>


 FAAWIS DINNER DANCE AT THE CALATRAVA

By Amy Schemenauer


WOW….What a night! What a fantastic, glorious, glamorous and totally rockin’, incredible night. If you weren’t at THE EVENT of the year on Saturday, September 20, well then you missed out…. BIG TIME! This year’s FAAWIS annual Dinner Dance Gala, held at the beautiful Calatrava, was a smashing success, with 356 attending guests. Guests started to arrive, dressed to dazzle, at 5:30pm. Upon arriving, attendees visited the registration table to register and buy raffle tickets. Top raffle prizes of the night included an iPad Air, an iPad Mini and a 42 inch screen TV.

   While guests were busy registering and finding their table assignments, attendees were allowed to “browse and shop” at our extensive, lavish “Silent Auction”, with a wide array of goodies, ranging from jewelry to restaurant vouchers; spa and hotel packages; various and unique gift baskets and even a Vegas vacation package! The display was vast and everyone enjoyed browsing the wares and checking up on their “bid for” items to make sure they weren’t outbid by someone else. I think a little competition ensued! It was even fun for those who chose to just “window shop”.

    Oh, and the beautiful artwork that was displayed in our 2014 FAAWIS Community Art Show. The theme was a study in the art of giving. Twenty-five wonderfully talented community artists showcased their amazing works in one of the grand galleries of the Milwaukee Art Museum to a very appreciative crowd during the Dinner Dance this year. Original works of art lined both sides of the beautiful Baumgartner Galleria. Against the backdrop of Lake Michigan, hundreds of guests strolled through the gallery, many stopping to absorb a captivating work, to talk with the artists, to snap a picture, even to purchase or offer to purchase a piece that they found fascinating. Beyond the gift of sharing their talents, those artists that sold work generously donated 20% of their sales to FAAWIS for community outreach. The artwork consisted of fine art photography, mixed media, oil, pastel, India ink, pencil and sculptured works capturing the beauty of Wisconsin, the beauty of the world around us, the beauty of the human form and soul, and the everyday, all in their own unique way. Many of the pieces also captured iconic Filipino culture; from the jeepney to the bayanihan hut, to the mythological creation of the Philippine Islands. Even a stunning floral display shared the story of the Ibong Adarna. Some art was even shipped in from around the country by native Wisconsinites for this event. The artists themselves ranged from those just learning to express their artistic visions, to those that had studied at major art institutes throughout the world. Everything came together, with the diligence and hard work of everyone who participated, to showcase a spectacular celebration of Filipino culture and community.

   To add to the "art theme", guests were treated to an on-the-spot photo shoot, courtesy of photographer, Mr. Joel Singson. Oh the smiles that appeared when families receivedtheir complimentary photo presented in a beautiful photo folder, created by Dr. Violeta Singson.

   Before dinner was served, MCs Renee and Donald Mondano started things off by introducing the two national anthems. Amy Schemenauer led off singing the Philippine National Anthem, Lupang Hinirang. Mr. Richard Coury followed by beautifully singing the American National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. These numbers were just a warm up. They were followed by Sheila Jackson’s rendition of America the Beautiful, which was both sweet and moving, starting off the entertainment for the evening. While attendees ate their delicious meals, numerous musical acts were performed, as is Filipino custom. Diners were treated to delightful solos and rousing, boisterous dance numbers, by various community singers and dance groups.

   One of the highlights of this exciting event was the presentation of the Ninette Santos Outstanding Community Service Award, which was awarded to a very deserving Mrs. Irene Stewart. What a blessed and meaningful tribute was given to Irene by the Azcueta family and Dr. Violeta Singson, complete with a wonderful slide-show. Congratulations to Irene Stewart for a job well done and for all she does for our community. Maraming, maraming salamat po!

   While the dancing was under way, raffle prizes were drawn and winners announced. Congrats to those LUCKY souls that won this year’s coveted prizes…you know who you are!! Good luck next year to everyone else. Finally, the very successful Silent Auction was closed and the “winners” were posted on large boards. Those who had bid the highest on their items came to collect and pay for their “loot”. How excited everyone seemed when they saw their names in the “winners” slots. Not enough praise or thanks can be given to our hard-working Silent Auction Committee, led by Becky Abraham and Dr. Elma Racadio, and all those generous individuals that donated the abundant array of goods. The amount of time and energy they expended organizing this portion of the dance is mind boggling. Thank you! While we're thanking people, special kudos go out to the never-tiring Dinner Dance Committee, led by president, Joyce Coury. Everyone worked so hard. It was an exquisite evening that will remain in our minds and hearts for a long time to come; a night to remember and cherish. FAAWIS is truly blessed with wonderful leadership!'


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