BRAWLEY – In Hidalgo Hall, the lights were dim as people chatted among themselves and snacked on pastries or sipped their wine. Then they began the fun task of painting while also raising support for local residents suffering from cancer.
Hidalgo Hall opened its doors to the Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center, a local non-profit organization, for the fundraiser Friday as participants had a chance to paint and enter a raffle to win prizes. Stations were set up so both adults and children could choose an image and then paint it.
Oreda Chin, executive director of Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center, led the “Paint and Whine” event to raise money for local cancer patients. The funds will go towards providing transportation, home visits, and other medical expenses.
“These fundraisers help us stay open. Fundraisers and donations are the only way we exist,” said Chin.
Chin said she has organized several fundraisers, and this was her seventh paint and wine fundraiser. But it was the first time she included children.
This fundraiser was made possible by the generosity of the community, Chin said. The painting canvases were donated, along with the food and pastries. Kaz Bros Design Shop, a local design shop, donated several wine glasses with the Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center’s logo.
Karen Cardoza, owner of Cardoza’s Little Bakery Shop, has catered all of the paint and wine events and they donate food and pastries to help the Cancer support center.
“This is something we want to do because our daughter had cancer,” said Cardoza.
Children chose to paint either a shark or an elephant while they laughed at each other’s paintings. The parents and other adults chattered on about their paintings of sunsets or flowers.
Monica Anderson, a mother of a child with cancer, attended the fundraiser with her daughter after missing several other paint and wine nights. Anderson has wanted to attend paint and wine fundraisers before, but struggled with her daughter’s health, she said.
“I’m all for the funding of cancer patients. My daughter is a cancer patient, so it’s very close to my heart,” said Anderson.
According to the American Cancer Society, California had approximately 176,140 cancer cases in 2017. In the United States, cancer is the second most common cause of death. The Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center is just one of many non-profits dedicated to fighting the disease.
Fundraising is a necessity for non-profits in the fight against cancer, and Chin anticipates another “Paint and Whine” night in August to continue raising money. She hopes that is will be as successful as Friday’s event, she said.