Misión de Candelilla on Aug. 3 to raise funds for 10 missions to 10 villages


DONATED auction items for the Mision de Candelilla Fiesta 2013 fundraiser Aug. 3 include bottles of wine from area wineries, a Mexican carved armadillo, Longhorn belt buckle, jewelry, a private condo in Maui and many more items.

Fiesta 2013, the sixth annual fundraiser for Fredericksburg-based Misión de Candelilla, will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Oak Hills Church and Event Center on Tivydale Road beginning with a silent auction at 6 p.m.

Honorary chairs for the event will be long-time supporters Jim and Estela Avery, with special guest Carol Smith to be honored as one of the founders of the medical missions to Coahuila and Chihuahua 27 years ago.

In its 27th year, Misión de Candelilla will conduct 10 missions to 10 different ejidos, or villages, each being visited several times, in the two northern Mexican states.

Volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists and lay assistants spend four to six days on each trip, caring for the medical needs of residents who otherwise would have little or no access to health care. Their work is supported entirely by contributions, local churches and volunteer contributors.

“The scope of our work in Mexico depends entirely on volunteer support. That’s why we hold this fund raiser each year—so we can continue providing health care and spiritual needs for our many friends across the border,” Curtis Allerkamp, executive director of the not-for-profit organization, said. “Obviously, the more funds we can raise, the more services we’ll be able to provide in the immediate future.”

Judy Hutcherson, chair of the volunteer board, said the event is really a celebration —a recognition of goodwill among two peoples.

“This year’s celebration will include live mariachi music by Fritz Morquecho, a catered dinner by Mamacita’s Restaurant and Cantina, a silent auction with some amazing offerings, and some inspiring stories by several active participants in our efforts,” she said.

Master of ceremonies will be Heritage School Spanish teacher David Turpin, who has participated in missions with his students for many years.

“Keynote speaker, Reverend Julian Garcia of the Harvest Hills Family Church in Weatherford, has also participated and supported the missions following a mission trip which his daughter attended,” Hutcherson said. “And we’re all looking forward to some amazing success stories from associates who live and work in the Mexican ejidos we’re serving.”

The organization has developed a partnership with Rotary International District 5840 in South Texas to provide expanded agricultural assistance.

“What began 27 years ago as a combined agricultural assistance and medical mission to two small villages has now grown to include many other forms of assistance,” Curtis Allerkamp said. “Together with Rotary and Engineers Without Borders, we’ve helped install water distribution systems, irrigation systems and even constructed several buildings and provided the materials and training so windows and doors could be screened. While medical and spiritual needs are our primary focus, we’ll assist in any effort that makes life more livable for our friends in Mexico.”

Seven years ago, Allerkamp resigned as assistant pastor at the New Wine Church in Fredericksburg and began devoting full time to organizing and operating Misión de Candelilla. He us assisted by his wife, Sara, a registered nurse and active mission participant.

“Our goal, in addition to gaining funding support for our on-going work,” Sara Allerkamp, the organization’s associate director, said, “is for everybody to have a good time. This is a party, a celebration, and every aspect has been designed with fun in mind.”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a social hour and silent auction. Items for the auction include six days and seven nights in a private condo on Maui, paintings, photos and other items.

“We’re always looking for and welcoming volunteers to go on these missions,” Hutcherson said. “Some have been concerned about safety traveling in Mexico, but I can assure them that both our safety precautions and the area in which we travel will insure a safe and personally fulfilling experience.”

Seating is limited. Those planning on attending are asked to reserve their tickets by calling the Misión office at 997-6542.

Tickets are $35 each and must be reserved in advance as no tickets will be sold at the door.

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