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A taste of Mexico returns
Madison Samuel-barclay - Invermere Valley Echo
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September 6, 2011
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A taste of Mexico returns
For a night of great Mexican-style fun and food, come out to the Radium Valley Vacation Resort on September 10 and support a great cause at the same time.

The fifth annual Mexican Fiesta night, hosted by the Caring Abroad Society of Alberta (CASA) Connor and the resort, will feature a silent and live auction and an excellent Mexican-style dinner.

Proceeds from the event will go towards CASA Connor for the building of a facility that will provide shelter and services to children in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

CASA Connor, a not-for-profit, registered society that assists children with disabilities in Puerto Vallarta, was started by the efforts of the friends and family of Connor Vanderveen.

Within Vanderveen's family are Peter and Teena Oudman, long-time employees of the resort.

The Oudmans spend months every year volunteering at orphanages and assisting with the building of schools in Puerto Vallarta.

Unfortunately, funds and resources for these projects and services in Puerto Vallarta are very sparse, especially for children with disabilities.

Connor Vanderveen, grandson to the Oudmans, was diagnosed with a rare terminal illness that treatment, while available in Canada, is not available in other parts of the world.

So, in partnership with Pasito de Luz, CASA Connor is working to create this new, large facility that will help support more than 120 children in Puerto Vallarta.

"In the years we've done this, we've raised $150,000 for the cause," said Wayne Holmgren, resort owner.

"This event is very well-attended by the community and business people as well. All of our auction prizes are contributed by generous businesses."

The fundraiser's ultimate goal is $500,000, and all proceeds from the event go 100 per cent to the cause.

"It's one of those things that is great to support, and great to know that every penny given goes to Puerto Vallarta," said Holmgren.

Tickets for the Fiesta night are $20, but go quickly according to Holmgren.

"You can phone the resort, book ahead and pick up your tickets at the door on the night of," said Holmgren.

"Every year we've been fully sold out, though. Anyone wanting to get tickets should not wait until the last minute, or they might be gone."

There will also be another Fiesta night for CASA Connor in Calgary on September 24, at the Calgary Christian High School.

If you'd like to purchase tickets for this event, call Geraldine Vanderveen at 403-249-6710.

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"It is great to assist this cause," said Holmgren of why people should come out and participate in the Fiesta night at Radium Valley Vacation Resort. "You can assist the cause and have a good time doing it too."

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