May 282013


LOS ANGELES–After suffering financial strife due to the recession, the longtime community service nonprofit Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) raised an estimated $130,000 from supporters at its 41st anniversary gala on May 18.

The funds were raised from sponsorships, dinner ticket sales, silent auction and other contributions during the celebration themed “Panibagong Simula!” (A New Beginning!)

The money will help SIPA serve Filipino-Americans and others through health and human services, economic development programs and by providing a venue for people “to come together and strengthen the community,” explained the organization’s leaders.

“Specifically, the expenses that are supported by [the] dinner revenue are the more general operating and administrative expenses of the organization–the operations of the building, facility costs, insurance and related costs,” Executive Director Joel Jacinto told Asian Journal via email.

Silent auction a hit


SIPA’s much-anticipated annual silent auction featured premium merchandise and goods at the auction for almost half of their actual cost. Among the goodies were premium DVD and BluRay movie bags, collectors’ edition merchandise, Hollywood premiere night tickets, apparel and other memorabilia.

According to Jacinto, approximately $5,000 was raised from the silent auction. The actual value of the items sold was around $10,000. Jacinto explained that SIPA usually puts the starting bid at about half of the actual value.

Among the notable items sold was a Manny Pacquiao apparel package, valued at $525. It was sold for a winning bid of $325. A premium Nike package, consisting of Lunarglide 4+ running shoes, a Letterman jacket, and a gym bag (valued at $300), was sold for a winning bid of only $130.

Another find was a couple of tickets to the premiere night screening of Disney’s latest adventure flick, The Lone Ranger. For a winning bid of only $180, the winners will join the red carpet premiere of the movie and join the cast and crew for the exclusive after-party. The tickets were estimated to originally cost at least $300.

John S. Mina, a member of the Rotary Club of the Historic Filipnotown said that he always looks forward to SIPA’s silent auction because of the great deals and steals.

Dance for a cause

Aside from the dinner tickets, sponsorships, and silent auction, SIPA was also able to raise funds during their Sponsor-a-Step segment, where guests turned in pledges to support SIPA’s dance classes for underserved youth.

Over $5,000 was raised from Sponsor-a-Step, which will sponsor 25 students for their dances classes for one entire year.

Jacinto described the event as “very successful” in that it raised “extremely critical” funds to support the ongoing operations of SIPA.

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