Fil-Am dance champ Cheryl Burke headlines benefit for PH students

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 10, 2014

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – More than a hundred people packed the Cheryl Burke Dance Studio in Mountain View, Calif. last Friday to raise funds for PhilDev – a US-based non-profit organization that uses technology and education to help the Philippine economy.

The sold-out event entitled “You Should Be Dancing” was a 70s themed night full of vintage and retro outfits.

The night included instructional dancing from salsa to hip hop, as well as dance performances by professional dancers including Filipino-American “Dancing with the Stars” two-time champion Cheryl Burke, herself.

Despite her busy schedule in Los Angeles, Cheryl made time to be back home in the Bay Area, where she grew up, to support her fellow kababayans.

“I love PhilDev,” said Cheryl. “My family and I have been so near and dear to the heart and I feel it’s so great to give back and what better way to celebrate tonight. PhilDev is just an amazing organization that really helps out the poor Filipinos that really deserve an education.”

One of PhilDev’s projects is to provide scholarships to students in the Philippines who are studying in the areas of science and engineering.

“We didn’t know how it was going to be accepted and how many people will come but it seems like through the hard work of the committee and of course a lot of helpers. It looks like it’s going to be an event that I think we should think about continuing every year,” said PhilDev Chairman of the Board Dado Banatao.

The $150-a-plate dinner also included a silent and live auction featuring fine wines, a Cache Creek casino package, San Francisco Giants tickets, and other items.

Dado’s wife, Maria Banatao, and Cheryl’s mother, Sherri Burke, were responsible for putting the night’s events in order.

“We are tremendously honored that our kababayans are here and our other friends, our American friends, are joining us in celebrating PhilDev and helping us help the country, our home country, the Philippines,” said Maria.

“I think what we are looking forward to is the fact that the Filipino community is getting together and are finally here whether they’re coming from the Bay Area or Southern Cal or the East Coast,” said Sherri. “We have people from everywhere that are coming to support PhilDev and I think that’s very heartwarming.”

Proceeds from the tickets sales and auction items will all go towards PhilDev’s goal of a sustainable economy for the Philippines.

And because of that, everyone had a great time for a great cause.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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