On Saturday, April 18, over a hundred people of various ages and backgrounds, gathered at Coco’s Mexican Restaurant to assist to the second annual Bachelor Auction and raise money for computers and a projector for Mareas Homeschool Samara.
As the evening progressed, the sheer amount of laughter and support from the audience was impressive and it filled the air with anticipation and excitement that could be seen and heard from the street and attracted passers by.
The menu that night offered a tasty large plate of eggplant Parmesan or a steak filet with shrimp and creamy spinach sauce for the main course. For dessert, the guests were offered Patron Margarita popsicles provided by the popular artisan Popsicle duo Pura Paleta.
Mareas organized their fundraising event into three main parts. First, a raffle of 10 prizes including a new 2015 Scooter generously donated by Outback Tours.
Second, a silent auction of dinners, classes, artwork, and spa treatments, and, lastly the Bachelor Live Auction comprised of half men and half women that agreed to accompany the highest bidder on an activity like zip-lining and lunch or standup paddle boarding.
Photo by Mareas Homeschool - Pablo Sebastian Casuso received the second (tied with Cassie Champagne) highest bid by Stefania Piussi (raising hand).
All auction candidates were warmly received on stage with cheers of support from expats and Ticos alike with a sense of appreciation for why they had all come together that Saturday night. They had gathered to help a diverse population of kids to have access to computers and expand their resources for language acquisition, science and more.
Writer Julie Bray collected the highest bid from Sean Rajkumar for $350. Cassie Champagne raised the school $250 with a bid from Kore Depascua while Pablo Sebastian Casuso also raised $250 with a bid from Stefania Piussi, owner of Gusto Beach Restaurant.
Mareas Teacher and auction candidate Angela Mohr commented with a large smile “this is for my kids”. Over 90 businesses and individuals contributed to this fundraiser ranging from internationally recognized artists to popular restaurants and hotels, tour businesses and spas. There was something there for everyone.
Owners Miryam Gonzalez and Steve Jarred of Coco’s hosted the fundraiser and Tyrone Jackson of Graphic Jam provided professional event programs. Yolanda Bosch Anduig and David Montserrat created a video that played throughout the evening highlighting donors as well as student and parent interviews.
The video was a thoughtful and informative reminder of how many were involved to make this event happen and allowed the audience to hear directly from the children and their parents on why they have made adding computers to the classroom a top priority.
Photo by Mareas Homeschool - Julie Bray (right) received highest bid from Sean Rajkumar (not present) at $350. Shown here Miryam Gonzales of Cocos Restaurant
During dinner, Los Ceibas pleased the crowd with a mellow Latin beat while guests settled in and enjoyed the drinks and dinner in the patio decorated with umbrellas, chili pepper string lights and tables with colorful hanging lamps made from recycled material by a local artist.
As if the room needed more entertainment, during the raffle intermission three belly dancers clad with traditional regalia dazzled the guests with their performance.
Lenina Araya Orocu, founder of Mareas Homeschool International, knew before the end of the evening that they were most likely going to meet their goal of $8000 based upon the amount community support present.
Lenina said “I am so happy and feeling so blessed to see the whole of Samara come out to support our school.”