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Yuma Crossing Rotary Club’s binational gala brings leaders together

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma Crossing Rotary Club’s Black and White Binational Dinner Gala Fundraiser brought together leaders from across the world including Yuma County and Mexico.

When attendees walked in to the event, pieces of artwork that were created by the students from Facultad de Artes UABC (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California), Mexicali campus artists were displayed at the reception.

These pieces on display were available for purchase to donors and Gala attendees.

For the opening act of the event, several Rotarians made their way across the room toward the stage wearing clothes typical of the country they represented.

They also carried a piece of the Rotary wheel adding to their piece to the wheel to signify unity in diversity. There were a total of 16 nationalities represented in the room.

After the opening act, Yuma Crossing Rotary Club President Mrs. Thelma J. Lundy welcomed guests and the pledge of allegiance for the United States and Mexico was recited.

Then, Former Arizona State Senator Amanda Aguirre, who is the President and CEO of the Regional Center for Border Health, shared a brief speech.

Rotary Awards and Recognitions were presented by Rotarians and members of Rotary Clubs on both sides of the border were awarded for their contributions.

Afterward, Honorable Mark Wayne Reeves presented The Legacy Award to Mrs. Thelma Lundy for her great contributions over the years as a member of the Yuma Crossing Rotary Club

For the Rotarian of the Year award, Pedro Osuna was awarded for all his hard work to the Yuma Crossing Rotary Club

Then the Special Friend of Rotary award was presented to Tom Espinoza who is the co-founder of Raza Development Fund and CEO of Espinoza Community Development.

Abelardo Vazquez Ramos, Director of Creative Industries of Baja California, and Alfredo Wong Lopez, Director of Arts and Culture of Mexicali, who are both board members of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Mexicali, gave speeches and reassured the partnership with the Rotary Club.

The event on Saturday also featured some major announcements.

The first announcement is the installation of several art pieces across Yuma County to help show the partnership there is between the rotaries in the U.S. and Mexico.

According to the Yuma Crossing Rotary Club, an in-kind donation of $750 thousand dlls. for sculptures was donated to Yuma County in four phases by Facultad de Artes - UABC Mexicali.

There will be interactive sculptures placed in Yuma, Somerton, San Luis, and Wellton.

The second was the announcement of a concert with opera singer Andrea Bocelli in Yuma to help the Rotary raise funds for a project that would bring light to coastal communities.

The club president shared how proud she is of all the representation shown at this event.

“We have two countries, Mexico and the U.S. and four regions and 16 nationalities that are going to be represented here tonight," stated Thelma Jeanette Lundy, Yuma Crossing Rotary Club President.

“This is really special. We have had galas before but we have never had a binational gala. With this binational gala, we have brought in people from San Luis, Mexicali, Imperial Valley, and Yuma County, all around," said Lundy.

Yuma Regional Medical Center also announced it would be donating 20 wheelchairs, medical equipment, and medical supplies for Yuma Crossing Rotary to disperse within the clubs from Mexicali.

The Yuma Crossing Rotary Club said it is grateful to all of its sponsors, attendees, and the community for their support of the first Binational Dinner Gala Fundraiser event.

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Faith Rodriquez

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