GFPD Dinner Dance – October 5, 2013 – Turlock, CA
The Alfaro family of Turlock, CA, hosted the second annual Dinner Dance in memory of their two “angel” children, Diego & Adrian. Both brothers were diagnosed with Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorder—Zellweger Spectrum Disorder (PBD—ZSD) and before they passed, their parents Carolina and Jose promised to keep their memories alive. More than 250 guests attended the Dinner Dance to help the Alfaros keep that promise, raising funds for the GFPD in their sons’ honor.
Event attendees were treated to dinner, live music, raffles and a silent auction. The raffle and silent auction items alone raised over $5,000. One raffle winner even donated her winnings of $750 back to the GFPD in an act that truly honored the spirit of the evening and the immense hard work of the Alfaros and their many volunteers—including servers, bartenders, greeters, raffle organizers, and entertainers—who made the event possible.
Carolina and Jose welcomed GFPD families who traveled from as far away as Arizona and Washington. They also introduced Ainsley Wade, a two-year-old girl with PBD, as the event honoree. The Alfaros chose to include an honoree this year to represent the children who benefit from the contributions made by those who attended and donated to the event. The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders, which received all proceeds from the Dinner Dance, funds research through grants, assists families by providing support and coordinates an equipment exchange to help offset the exorbitant costs families are faced with when dealing with a diagnosis of PBD-ZSD.
Dr. Joseph Hacia of University of Southern California also attended the event. Dr. Hacia is a recent recipient of a GFPD grant which was made possible by the efforts of GFPD families and supporters like the Alfaros. Dr. Hacia received $50,000 to investigate potential drugs for therapeutic use in PBD patients. His project, entitled “Neural Cell Resources for PBD-ZSD Drug Testing,” seeks to test all drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for their possible effectiveness in treating symptoms associated with peroxisomal disorders in the Zellweger spectrum. As Dr. Hacia explained to the crowd gathered at the Alfaro family’s Dinner Dance fundraiser, testing all FDA approved drugs will provide him and his team of researchers with insights into which drugs may be worth testing further for their specific benefits.
The evening concluded with guests dancing the night away to the music of the Mike Torres Band, who returned for their second year at the Dinner Dance. The response to Diego and Adrian’s Dinner Dance was so positive the Alfaros expect an even bigger turn out in the future. The Alfaro family raised nearly $20,000 for the GFPD with this year’s event, besting their previous year’s total by $5,000. The 2013 Dinner Dance was made possible through generous donations from local and national sponsors, and by the tireless work of the Alfaro family, their friends, volunteers and other supporters.