The program kicks off with a silent auction and dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the entertainment gala at 8 p.m. that will include performances by singers, dancers and stand-up comedian Carlos Mencia, and a live auction.
Honduran-born Mencia has numerous television credits, including two solo HBO "Comedy Half Hour" performances, one of which earned him a CableACE award nomination for best stand-up comedy special, and appearances on "The Tonight Show," "Later," HBO’s "Loco Slam," "Comic Relief VI," Fox’s "In Living Color" and A&E’s "An Evening at the Improv."
Sylvia Ybarra of UTPA’s Department of Nursing, one of the organizers of the gala, urged area businesses and individuals to contact her as soon as possible if they have items to donate to the auctions.
Items currently scheduled to be auctioned off at the gala include dinner for four at Tim’s Terrace at the KRGV-TV studios in Weslaco, a ladies’ leather jacket from Rio Grande Valley Harley Davidson, an art serigraph by Carl Mohner and an art print by Wilma Langhamer.
Tickets for the gala are $100, which will admit two persons and includes a donation of $68 to the UTPA Nursing Advisory Council. Funds raised at the benefit will be used for nursing student scholarships and nursing program enhancement at UTPA.
"We want to thank everyone who supported the nursing program last year, and we want to encourage everyone to return to make this year’s gala a success," said Sylvia Ybarra of the UTPA Department of Nursing, one of the organizers of the event. There are three levels of sponsorships available: Silver Patron, which will admit 12 guests, is $1,500; Patron will admit eight guests for $1,000; and Sponsor will admit four guests for $500.
Silver patrons at last year’s gala were Mission Hospital, Paul H. Ballard, CEO, and Patricia Brown, CNO; Colombia Rio Grande Regional Hospital, Randy Everts, CEO, and Joe Riley, CNO; Knapp Medical Center, Robert Vanderveer, administrator, and Sharon Inman, DON; Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Leon Belila, CEO, and Cheryl Sohrabian, CNE; and McAllen Medical Center, John Mims, executive director, and Linda Daum, CNE.
Patrons were the Auxiliary to McAllen Medical Center Inc., Catheryn Stout, president; John Knox Village of the Rio Grande Valley, Audrey L. Earl, executive director; and Starr County Memorial Hospital, Thalia Munoz, administrator, and Mario Segura, DON.
Sponsors last year were Felici Pediatric Clinic; Holistic Home Health Services Inc., Fernando Cabrera, Janie Cantu-Cabrera and Edmundo Garcia; Dr. and Mrs. Billie Marek; Melody Home Care Inc., Lupita Luna, RN; Texas Nurses Association, District 26; Therapy To Go, Alberto A. Munoz and Lauro Munoz, administrator; UTPA Student Nurse Organization; and Valley Baptist Medical Center.
Contributors included Bethel Home Health Care of McAllen and Roma; Judge and Mrs. Rudy Delgado; Essential Home Care Inc.; Dr. Sheridan and Mary Evans; Family Health Center, RGC; Elizabeth Flores, RN; Maricela Hernandez, RN; Emmalou Keyes, RN; Owens Home Health; Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County Inc.; Roma Medical Clinic; and Valley Nurse Practitioners.
For more information on the benefit gala, contact Ybarra at 956/381-3495.