On April 14, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) hosted a fundraiser at En Fuego Mexican Grille in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. This fundraising event was led by Daniel Guerrero, Alyssa’s cousin, who was recently added as a Board member of AAFH.

Daniel also came up with the idea to have a raffle for two cash prizes and a 55” 4K Smart TV at this event. All 500 tickets were sold thanks to the outpouring of support we experienced for this event. There were also smaller raffles for several gift baskets donated by a variety of local businesses. As a result, many of the attendees went home winners!

All attendees enjoyed hearty appetizers, soft drinks and entertainment provided by Marysela Aviles, a lovely singer of popular Mexican songs who accompanied herself on percussion. Marysela was introduced to us by Alyssa’s godmother, Nancy Nunez. Many of Nancy’s family members were also in attendance.

We had great participation from our existing Board members including Daniel Guerrero, Mary Jane Johnson, Denise Perez, Carmen Ziegler, and Vince, Alyssa’s brother, who recorded much of the event on video.

We appreciate and thank our event volunteers who came despite the snowy conditions on Sunday afternoon: Chris Coconate for coordinating the entrance and smaller raffles. Jorge Diaz for picking up and delivering the 55” 4K Smart TV to En Fuego. Roxie, David and Natalia for helping with the disassembling and cleanup at the end of the event.

Generous contributions for gift baskets, hair products and art pieces came from the following businesses and donors: Base Salon Chicago, C&C Insurance, Creative Staffing, En Fuego Mexican Grille, Villa Verone Italian Restaurant, El Molcajete Mexican Restaurant, Instrument Exchange, Kathy De’s Deli, Scully Logistics, Adrienne Guerrero and Ana Salgado.

This year we also had the pleasure of a very special guest, Dr. Martha Juarez and her teenage children, Nayelly and Hugo. They traveled all the way from Guadalajara, Mexico, to join us for this event as well as to attend other AAFH functions during their time here. What makes Dr. Martha special to us, though, is the passion and leadership she has demonstrated in expanding the work of Alyssa’s Foundation in Guadalajara. She has made a personal commitment to our mission and done so in a place where there are even less resources than most of us enjoy here in the U.S. Dr. Martha has also recently been added as a Board member and, more importantly, as a cherished friend of our extended family.

We are grateful to all our friends, supporters and donors in attendance or with us in spirit for carrying on Alyssa’s legacy of love for the arts and allowing us to continue to help other youth struggling with life-threatening illnesses.Thank you all so much!