Dance Night Raises Money for Pageant

Most people don’t often think of line dancing when they consider possible fundraisers, but the organizers of this year’s Miss and Mister Philippines – Hamilton Pageant jumped on the original idea in order to raise money for the fall event. They held their Line Dance Fest on April 26 at the Hamilton Filipino Community Centre (HFCC) in Hamilton, ON.

The well-attended evening included a cash bar, food, a grand raffle prize worth over $800 and instruction in several types of group dances, including Country, new wave, Zumba, hip hop and Hawaiian. This fundraiser was the first of the year for the October 25 pageant.

HFCC was founded in 2012 to “promote, support and empower the Filipino community by providing activities, programs and events that contribute to the wholeness of the community.” They offer a variety of activities such as workshops and athletic programs, art, drama and music classes, handicrafts and general recreation.

The non-profit is an umbrella organization for 10 local Filipino associations. Those groups include the Pilipino Canadian Association, the Filipino Canadian Retirees Association, the Ato-Ato Social Club, the Philippine Islanders Cultural Association, the Philippine Basketball Association, the Pinoy Mixed Bowling League and Club Novo Ecijanos, which caters to Filipinos from the province of Nueva Ecija.

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Organizer Dory delos Reyes, a member of the pageant committee, says they want “to bridge the gap between generations and promote their national tradition and culture” with all their events. The HFCC “actively works with supporting organizations, and the public at large, to build partnership in encouraging and diversifying Filipino culture and custom for easy integration into Canadian society.”

The pageant is open to anyone ages 17 to 22 who lives in Hamilton or the surrounding area and has at least one parent of Filipino ancestry. This year’s contestants include seven men and eight women. All are afforded the opportunity to develop their personal network, engage in their culture, become involved in a variety of festivals, win cash and prizes and compete in other pageants outside of the area due to their participation.

Word of mouth and social networking were the main means of promoting the festival, and delos Reyes praises the “excellent turnout” that helped them meet their fundraising goal for the event. Her most important planning tip is to carefully consider how much food will be needed for your special occasion. “Don’t buy too much pizza,” she notes, “about half of ours went uneaten.”

How do you determine how much food will be consumed at your events?