Dance the night away at Fiesta Fabulosa

Fundraiser helps Oak Bay High students build homes in Mexico

Oak Bay High’s Live Different participants are fundraising for this spring’s return trip to build two homes in Vicente Guerrero

Put on your dancing shoes and prepare to dance the night away during Fiesta Fabulosa, an adult dance and silent auction at Oak Bay High Friday (Nov. 27).

With music by the wide-ranging cover band The Groove Diggers and more than 80 silent auction items already collected, it promises to be a fun night for all in the school’s brand new gym, says Oak Bay High teacher Brent Garraway.

The dance is a fundraiser for the Oak Bay Live Different program, which will see 34 students travel to the rural community of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico during Spring Break 2016 to build two homes for local families. Throughout the process, they will become fully immersed in the Mexican community, learning not only about the Mexican culture but also about themselves, says Garraway, the Live Different program co-ordinator who has accompanied the students on all three previous trips.

Some 96 students applied to participate in the trip, with 34 selected, along with 12 alternates who undertake the same preparation as the others, from beginning to end, in case a spot becomes available. Some are young enough that they’ll also be able to reapply for the next trip, Garraway notes.

“The first couple (of trips) went so well, word spread and it just went from there,” he says of the program’s popularity despite its significant commitment. The students, who range in age from Grade 10 to 12 and come from all areas of the school – sports, arts, academics, and those who have yet to find their passion – spend two years working together, preparing for the trip beyond fundraising.

“You want them to feel like a family,” Garraway says.

While the students pay for their own travel and living expenses, they also raise more than $32,000 to pay for the building supplies, along with a variety of other resources they take down for the community, Garraway says.

“Most kids describe it as life-altering, life awakening, life-changing,” he says of the experience, noting that each night they’re away they have a “debriefing” to talk about the day.

“It just opens their eyes.”

Living alongside the families, seeing the impact their efforts can have in a very real sense is significant. “They start from nothing and at the end they have a home,” he says. “They get to see the people move into their new home. It’s a pretty cool thing to see.”

Garraway hopes to see between 300 and 400 people at the dance. After raising about $25,000 at the successful “jail or bail” fundraiser, its hoped the dance will generate the remaining funds needed.

Fiesta Fabulosa runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and includes live music, cash bar and silent auction. Tickets are $15 and include one drink. Tickets must be bought in advance and can be purchased through the Oak Bay High school office.



Just Posted

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Tsawout hosts Saanich Peninsula community leaders at blanket ceremony

Reconciliation event meant to share the Indigenous exerience

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read