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EVENTS:       Bowling PicnicDinner DanceInternational Folk Fair│ Christmas with SantaSimbang GabiNew Year's Eve

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Dr. Marie Abraham Rebancos
Recipient of the 2015 FAAWIS Outstanding Community Service Award


August 1, 2015
Country Springs Hotel, Waukesha, WI

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For more Dinner Dance Gallery 2015>>

“Mabuhay!  Keeping Our Culture and Friendships Alive!”  This was the echoing theme of the 43rd Annual FAAWIS Dinner Dance on, Saturday, August 1, 2015, at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha, Wisconsin.   We were elated to see a celebration of homecoming by old friends and long distance families returning to Milwaukee to attend the dinner dance.  Attendance was an incredible 292 people, many wearing traditional Filipino attire, including barongs and Filipiniana dresses.  As people registered they were also asked to note the region of the Philippines from which they came.  Push pins on a giant map of the Philippines were used to depict the number of people from any one city.  As a result, the largest representation was from (1) Cebu, then (2) Metro Manila, then (3) Davao!  Activities throughout the evening also denoted the theme of friendship and our Philippine culture.

The event-filled program was led by the talented emcees, Richard Coury and Divina Wells.  The ceremony began with our national anthems. Richard Coury sang the Star Spangled Banner while Dr. Linus Santo Tomas led Lupang Hinirang.  Next were inspiring words from our devoted FAAWIS president, Thomas Hey.  This was promptly followed by the invocation, which was conducted by Father Art Ysmael.  To emphasize our cultural theme, there was a lively sing-a-long  of traditional Filipino folk songs from various regions.  This was led by Sheila Plaga Jackson and Cream Pepito Sommer.  The audience was encouraged to participate with both Tagalog and English verses while piano accompaniment was beautifully played by Michael Hey.

Continuing with the program, honors were presented to well deserved recipients:
Presidential Award presented by Tom Hey to Joyce Coury
Outstanding Community Service Award presented by Dr. Maria Mendoza Lemes and Miriam Santos-Amador to Dr. Marie Abraham Rebancos

To start the evening’s entertainment, the opening dance was led by the FAAWIS Uptown Funk Girls,  choreographed by our graceful Marivic Gilbert.  This started the sequence of multiple line dances and participation from the audience.   Masses of people enjoyed the dancing activities while the music was provided by Derek Yumang.

Nostalgia filled the air when the Silahis Dance Troupe was recognized for their 45th Anniversary!  They then graced us with a special Silahis 45th Reunion dance, which presented the past and present members of the dance troupe.  This was led and choreographed by our talented Sheila Plaga Jackson.

The evening was not complete without enjoying delicious Filipino desserts, which were provided by various talented bakers.  Desserts included biko, maja blanca, sapin sapin, mocha cake, ube, among other tasty treats!  Yummy!

As always, a raffle was held during the dinner dance.  Proceeds from the raffle went to benefit the FAAWIS Community Outreach Programs.   A grateful thank you to all raffle prize donors: iPad Air from the FAAWIS organization, an iPad Mini donated by Alvin and Sheila Plaga Jackson, a 43-inch Smart television provided by Ferdinand Dijamco of Applied Biotech Industries, Inc., and a hotel package contributed by the Country Springs Hotel.  Congratulations to all our lucky prize winners!

Silent Auction items were bountifully spread over three tables that closed at different times throughout the evening.  Items ranged from jewelry to hotel rooms to sports paraphernalia to various themed baskets to a villa time-share.   Friendly competition was present and winners took home some very nice items.  The efforts from Rebecca Abraham, Marlou Kelly, and Sol Atienza Yoder of the Silent Auction item committee were apparent, along with numerous donations and assistance from the board members.

And, yet, another successful FAAWIS dinner dance!  The fun, camaraderie, and celebrations left our attendees with the remembrances of an evening with dear friends, family, and a rich Filipino culture within our community.  Pictures of the event from our photographers, Edgar Catacutan and Ed Escall, can be found on our Facebook page.

A special “Salamat Po” to our Dinner Dance Committee members: Thomas Hey (chair), Sol Atienza Yoder (co-chair), Rebecca Abraham (silent auction chair), Christine Crisostomo Hey (invitations, reservations), Marlou Kelly (silent auction, membership), Maria Yumang (program support), Isabel Maria Piana (invitations, reservations), Divina Wells (emcee, program support), Sheila Plaga Jackson (dance, program support, desserts), Dr. Maria Mendoza Lemes (awards, ad, decoration), Zen Edralin (treasurer, registration), Marivic Gilbert (dance, program support), Joyce Coury (silent auction, advertisement), Marilyn Mallari (invitations, registration), Delilah Dijamco (raffle prize), Miriam Santos Amador (awards, Silahis photos), Cream Pepito Sommer (program layout), Father Arturo Ysmael (invocation, decoration).

Submitted By: Sol Atienza Yoder

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