Wayuu Taya Foundation Third Annual Fundraising Gala To Honor Russell Simmons

June 09, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Wayúu Tayá Foundation will honor entertainment mogul Russell Simmons, actor Edward James Olmos and singer Lila Downs at its third annual fundraising dinner in New York in June. The event will once again be hosted by Foundation President and Founder, actress and UNESCO Ambassador Patricia Velasquez and supermodel IMAN. The evening’s celebrity emcee will be CNN American Morning anchor Soledad O’Brien. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields will be the evening’s guest speaker.

The event, to be held on Monday June 20th, will be at The Tribeca Grand Hotel in Manhattan from 6.00pm. There will be a live auction hosted by Amy Sacco.

Every year the foundation honors a small group of people who have made outstanding contributions in the fight against poverty, famine, child abuse, and to improve living conditions in third world countries. Past honorees have included Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada. Benefit committee members have included: Marc Anthony, Katie Ford, Senator Hillary Clinton, Benjamin Bratt, Alejandro Santo Domingo and Marisa Tomei.

The Wayúu Tayá Foundation began its operations in Venezuela and has been assisting the Wayúu group. The Wayúu people inhabit the Guajira region between the border of Venezuela and Colombia. These people have lived in poverty and famine for many years and have historically been abused, exploited, and neglected by their own countries and the world. Recent figures show that one child is dying every single day in these communities.

With this in mind, the Wayúu Tayá Foundation is committed to raising awareness and providing essential aid and support to these communities including nutrition, education, and medical help– all of which are particularly important for pregnant women and children under the age of five.

In 2003, the Foundation took over the operations of an ambulatory nutrition center that was about to be shut down. Through this effort, the lives of more than 1,000 children were saved in 2004. This year, Wayúu Taya will be working on the expansion of The Roof Project and opened its first women’s and children center.