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08/23/2017

“Noche of China Moon” Glowing with Thanks

View photos of the event here!

China

On Saturday August 5, 2017, over 300 guests joined together on the night of the full moon to celebrate La Luz Center’s mission “to be a catalyst for change in Sonoma Valley through health, education and financial security.”

The “Noche of China Moon” event raised over $450,000 for La Luz Center, confirming the extent of gratitude and appreciation in our community.

As guests entered Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall, they were astounded to find it was magically transformed into a Chinese banquet hall complete with brilliant red décor and illuminated by large gold lanterns.  Many celebrated the theme by wearing traditional Chinese attire.

Marcelo Defreitas, the event’s creator, producer and current La Luz Board President, welcomed the crowd.  “I stand in this room filled with the most caring and generous people of this community,” he said. “Once again, year after year, I plead that you continue to join me in this effort to make our community more diverse and more inclusive. One where every resident feels like he or she belongs.”  A bountiful Chinese feast, including a dim sum station and such banquet dishes as Peking duck and Mongolian beef, was served by Elaine Bell Catering.  The grand finale dessert was a fragrant pear moon cake.  Guests enjoyed wines by Highway 12 Vineyard and Winery.

La Luz Executive Director Juan Hernandez thanked guests and highlighted the work of the La Luz Center team.  He then introduced Sal Chavez, a La Luz Board member, the youngest person in history to serve on the Sonoma Valley School Board, dedicated family man, business owner and entrepreneur.Stepping onstage accompanied by his father and son, Sal spoke of his parent’s decision to migrate to the U.S. many years ago.  To make a new life in Sonoma Valley, he remembered their hard work and their goal to provide better opportunities for their children.  Sal’s family, representing three generations, mirrored the significant accomplishments of many immigrant families. His story was powerful and heartwarming.

Following Sal’s story, Defreitas launched the Fund-A-Need appeal.  Major supporters jumped in with generous bids.  Nearly every guest raised a paddle.  When Defreitas and Scott Smith offered to match every $100 donation, many donors raised their paddles a second time!

Highlighting the evening’s entertainment was an elegant, sensual, and captivating performance by the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company of San Francisco.  The Company has received accolades from theater and festival audiences throughout the country and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  The Melody of China music ensemble, costumed stilted arts players, and Chung Ngai lion dancers provided further enjoyment.  For the traditional Noche finale, guests took the stage for dancing to the music of DJ Jefferson Espinosa.  La Luz is grateful to all supporters who share our mission to help ensure that all Sonoma Valley residents facing challenges are supported and have an opportunity to improve their lives.  

“May we live long and share the beauty of the Moon together”.

 

Click here to see photos of the event