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Fundraiser pushes scholarship endowment to nearly $200,000

Supporters of sister-city relations between Ashland and Guanajuato, Mexico, attended the fifth annual Guanajuato Nights dinner/auction, raising funds for the Amigo Club Endowed Scholarship Fund invested in the Southern Oregon University Foundation.

“We grossed more than $18,000 this year, which will push the scholarship endowment to nearly $200,000, including matching funds donated by Guanajuato benefactor Faffie Siekman Romero,” Amigo Club President Betzabé “Mina” Turner said.

The club has granted nine scholarships to exchange students participating in the Amistad exchange program between SOU and the University of Guanajuato. This year’s recipients include the first two from Guanajuato attending SOU and two SOU students in Guanajuato.

The Amigo Club presented appreciation awards during dinner to especially strong supporters of sister city links, including SOU Provost Susan Walsh; Ashland mural artist Denise Baxter and the mural’s sponsors, Barry and Kathryn Thalden; and Daniel Barrera Vazquez, commander of the Heroic Volunteer Firefighter Corps of Guanajuato.

Jay Ach courtesy photoAmigo Club President Betzabé “Mina” Turner (right) stands with Kathryn and Barry Thalden in front of a banner depicting the Guanajuato mural of Ashland the Thaldens commissioned.
Jay Ach courtesy photoppreciation award recipient Erika Lourdes Gonzalez Rosas of the University of Guanajuato (left) shares a moment with Amigo Club founder Señora Chela Tapp-Kocks.