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Project PEARLS to hold benefit for scholarships for the poor

SAN FRANCISCO – A fundraiser to provide scholarships for over a hundred college scholars who are living in extreme poverty will be hosted by Project PEARLS & Saint Joseph’s Arts Foundation on June 12 at 4 to 7 pm

The event will take place at Saint Joseph Arts Foundation on Howard Street in the SOMA Pilipinas cultural district.

Project PEARLS is a nonprofit organization that helps children and families break the cycle of poverty in the Philippines through education, literacy, empowerment, nutrition, and healthcare. It started out 12 years ago with a small, dedicated staff supported by hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers in the Philippines and in the US. It has followed students from kindergarten through college. In the next three years, over 100 scholars will be in college.

Project Pearls scholar Princess Soria was born and raised in the slums of Tondo where her single mother and two other siblings were working in charcoal pits. She was enrolled in the project Scholarship Program when she was 12. She is graduating this June with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Far Eastern University. She was in New York in 2018 to represent Project PEARLS and Philippines at the United Nations Summit for Women and Girls.

“I was only in 5th grade when I became a Project PEARLS scholar. As a child, I worked in the charcoal factory to help my family have food on the table and for me to have school allowance. I never thought I would finish elementary school but this June, I am graduating from college with a degree in Psychology. With the help of Project PEARLS, it is possible to dream big and make those dreams realities,” Soria said.

Her family now lives in a relocation village in Bulacan where Project PEARLS also serves.

The pandemic has pushed millions more Filipinos into poverty. The Philippines Statistical Authority reports that an estimated 23.7% of the population of 110 million live in poverty.

Melissa Villa, founder and executive director, said, “We started with over 40 preschool scholars and now, we have over 700 scholars from preschool to college who are more hopeful to get out of poverty.”

The benefit show will include a live and silent auction, music, cocktails, food and an unbridled celebration of the power of a community reaching out to help the most vulnerable populations. Join host and auctioneer, Franco Finn, aka The Warriors “Hype Man.”

Headliner is Chaz Bear, known professionally as Toro y Moi, a Filipino American singer, songwriter, record producer and graphic designer from San Francisco Bay Area.

Guest Performers are Kat Damian, DJ ET – both Filipino Americans from San Francisco Bay Area.

Featured Partner is The City Eats, a non-profit organization dedicated to unifying the community through the purpose of eradicating hunger among the inner-city homeless population.

Featured Designers are Vinta Gallery, a bespoke and ready-to-wear modern Filipiniana and Filipino-inspired fashion & accessories. Evaro Italia is an Italian luxury women’s wear inspired by nature and Italian culture.

Yana Gilbuena, a Philippine-born, critically-acclaimed, ancestrally-taught chef, started the SALO Series as a way to educate people about the history, culture and rich heritage embedded in Filipino cuisine. Her work de ella centers on the decolonization / reindigenization through food. Yana will be serving her delicious and creative dishes to the VIP guests.

Matteo Lavorini is a professional truffle hunter from Italy who has been working in the business for 12 years, combines his passion for nature, animals and cooking. Matteo is also a chef specializing in mushroom and truffle dishes that he will serve to the VIP guests at the event. He will also have Matteo Truffle products to auction and to sell.

The Sarap Shop specializes in nostalgic Filipino-American comfort food, with menus designed to make “every-vore” feel welcomed. Its food truck will be at the event.

Live & Silent Auction items include:

  • NBA Golden State Warriors memorabilia package – autographed jerseys of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson plus on the court experience with Franco Finn the Warriors “Hype Man”.All-inclusive Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 5-day vacation for two
  • 5-night stay at Waikiki Beach Resort for two
  • Tickets for 2 to an upcoming Toro y Moi show and 5 signed merchandises.
  • Nobu Hotel Stay and Dining for two
  • Modern Filipiniana clothing from VINTA Gallery
  • Italian luxury women’s wear and accessories from Evaro Italia

General admission tickets are at $50 (will feed 15 children in need).

VIP tickets start at $2500: Tickets for four; early admission; exclusive cabaret table seating; full service of drinks and hearty hors d’oeuvres from Chef Yana AND Matteo Truffles; Your ASPIRATION Tickets will send one scholar to college for a year and will provide 600 meals to children and families in need. $1500 will be tax deductible.

$5000 Tickets for eight; early admission; exclusive lounge seating; full service of drinks and hearty hors d’oeuvres from Chef Yana AND Matteo Truffles; Your ASPIRATION Tickets will send two scholars to college for a year and will provide 600 meals to children and families in need. $3500 will be tax deductible

Tickets and Corporate Sponsorships are available here: https://projectpearls.givesmart.com

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