Hispanic Liaison’s 5 de Mayo fundraising raffle collects over $6,000

BY VICTORIA JOHNSON, News + Record Staff
Posted 5/12/21

The Hispanic Liaison’s month-long 5 de Mayo raffle raised $6,100 in donations and gave away five prizes, including a car in “excellent condition.”

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Hispanic Liaison’s 5 de Mayo fundraising raffle collects over $6,000

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SILER CITY — The Hispanic Liaison’s month-long 5 de Mayo raffle raised over $6,100 in donations and gave away five prizes, including a car in “excellent condition.”

The Liaison held the raffle at 5 p.m. last Wednesday over Facebook Live. With help from volunteers and local businesses, the nonprofit sold 1,000 tickets both in person and online. Tickets ran out just two days before the raffle, according to the Liaison’s Facebook page.

“Thank you for your generosity,” said the event’s bilingual “emcee,” Cesar Merlos, last Wednesday in Spanish. “We are very happy. Money has been raised, good money has been raised, but thanks to all the people who have helped us.”

Beyond fundraising, the raffle also marked the Liaison’s 26th anniversary as an organization dedicated to assisting and advocating for Siler City’s Hispanic community.

“It sounds easy, but it has been hard work,” Merlos added. “There have been ups and downs, but here they are still.”

Every day, staff help the Hispanic communities they serve, he added, and “are committed to us so that many people can receive help in different ways and that we have a voice with all of our legislators.”

The raffle gave away five prizes. The grand prize was a car — a 2008 Dodge Avenger STX in “excellent condition” donated by Tanya Carter-Reichle. Other prizes included $100 in cash, a brand new 8-quart Air Fryer PowerXL, a chocoflan cake with 20 servings made by Elena Gonzalez as well as a cloth hammock hand-crafted by Ana Huezo.

The winners were:

• Laura Valerio Perez, who won the car;

• Roberto Vera, who won $100 in cash;

• Vedeslina Casanova, who won the air fryer;

• Alejandra Tovar, who won the chocoflan cake;

• Celia Hernandez Galindo, who won the hammock.

The Liaison began calling winners last week after the raffle. According to Merlos, winners have two weeks to pick up their prizes, or they’ll be raffled off again.

“I’m very emotional that all the winners were members of our community,” said the Liaison’s executive director, Ilana Dubester, during the raffle. “We are very grateful to all of you for buying tickets. We’ll wait for you here, and we are at your service.”

Most, if not all, winners have picked up their prizes. On Monday, the Liaison posted several photos of grand winner Laura Valerio Perez picking up her new car — a win that Dubester said had a “great story to go along with it.”

A Siler City resident, Valerio Perez is a longtime volunteer at the Liaison.

“We’re so happy that she won!” staff posted on the Liaison’s Facebook page.

According to their post, a Hispanic man bought the winning ticket in Valerio Perez’s name after the Liaison’s Elena Gonzalez approached him outside the office to sell tickets. At first, he had planned only to buy two tickets for $10 each.

“But since we were selling 3 tickets for $20, Elena asked if she could put the 3rd ticket in the name of a community member who is going through hard times,” staff wrote. “Upon hearing Laura’s story, this gentleman decided to buy 6 tickets in her name! If anyone knows who this generous person is, we would love to meet him.”

In a comment below the post, Valerio Perez also expressed her thanks.

“God is great and he sustains us through the storm we live in,” she wrote in Spanish. “May God bless and multiply the gentleman who donated the tickets in my name. I would also like to give him my thanks in person.”

For more information to watch the video, visit the Hispanic Liaison’s Facebook page.

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