Search to Involve Pilipino Americans hosts virtual benefit on Oct. 10 to raise funds for future headquarters, programs

AMONG the upcoming events to mark Filipino American History Month is a virtual benefit for one of the oldest and longest-running non-profit organizations serving Fil-Ams in Los Angeles.

Historic Filipinotown’s Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) on Saturday, October 10 will be hosting its 48th annual benefit, entitled “Vision for Tomorrow.”

Joining entertainers such as Apl.de.Ap of Black Eyed Peas, Nick Cannon, Josh Dela Cruz, Ava DuVernay, H.E.R., Jo Koy, Dan Lin, and Lea Salonga, are Ella Jay Basco of “Birds of Prey,” pro dancer Cheryl Burke, news anchor Cher Calvin of L.A.’s KTLA News, L.A.-based dancers from Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts, and Princess Punzalan of “Yellow Rose.”

The benefit aims to raise money for the organization’s programs and other funds for its new headquarters at HiFi Collective, which is set to open in spring 2022, the organization said.

HiFi Collective will house the future John Eric Swing Small Business Center, named in honor of Swing, a champion of small business and SIPA’s executive director who died of COVID-19 earlier this summer.

The virtual gala will be hosted by Erin Lim, host of E! News’ The Rundown and BingE! Club, and beauty guru and YouTube personality Patrick Starrr.

In addition to celebrated Fil-Am comedian Jo Koy, who appears on the September 30 cover of Variety magazine as a “Legend & Groundbreaker,” SIPA is honoring Commissioner Jessica Caloza of the Board of Public Works, community leader Anna Marie Cruz of Entrepinayship, and SIPA co-founding board member and community advocate Alan Kumamoto. Also, to be honored for excellence in business is Seafood City Supermarkets, recognized for its support of the Fil-Am culinary scene and the dedication of its grocery store staff working on the frontlines during the pandemic.

“All of us at SIPA are excited to produce this special program for the community,” said Lyle del Mundo, president of the SIPA Board of Directors. “One way to enjoy the virtual gala while safely dining at home is by ordering your favorite Filipino food. On October 10, viewers are encouraged to order take-out or delivery from a Filipino-owned restaurant in their city.”

SIPA is offering a limited number of “Dine & Donate” exclusive gala dinners for viewers in Los Angeles, which can be purchased on its website. With a $50 or $100 gala donation to SIPA, viewers in L.A. can pick up a special dinner from HiFi Kitchen in Historic Filipinotown or LASA in Historic Chinatown. Gala sponsors get to enjoy a special VIP dinner package from The Park’s Finest, the popular HiFi-adjacent restaurant in Echo Park, celebrating more than 10 years in business.

For gala viewers across the country, SIPA encourages participating in a special “Support Small Business” gala dining program. Beginning October 5, a specially curated list of Fil-Am-owned restaurants and small businesses offering food/catering in cities such as Cerritos, Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas, New York City, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Seattle, West Covina, and more will be available on https://sipacares.org.

Supporting small business is at the heart of SIPA’s community efforts. Registration for the virtual gala is free at http://bit.ly/SIPAGALA, with viewing available on Facebook, IGTV, YouTube or Twitch.

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