PATERSON, NJ -- The Mustard Seed Children’s 11th Annual Dinner Dance Gala will be held on March 9th at the Valley Regency in Clifton, beginning at 7pm. The event is a fundraiser for the Mustard Seed Community in the Dominican Republic, which supports orphan children with both physical and mental disabilities.

Mustard Seed Communities is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable populations throughout the developing world. Hogar Immanuel, in Cangrejos, Dominican Republic, is home to 48 children with very high needs and disabilities.

“Unfortunately, in the Dominican Republic, there is little to no government support at all for disabled children,” said Cy Yannarelli, Founding Member, Mustard Seed Children/DR.

Sign Up for E-News

“The Dominican Republic is a Third World country and there’s a lot of poverty,” said Eva Tavarez, Member, Mustard Seed Children/DR. “People have no means for taking care of a child with disabilities.”

Funds from the gala, both ticket sales and any donations received, goes to meet the needs of the disabled children living at Hogar Immanuel. Because so much of the expenses of the gala are subsidized or donated to begin with, Yannarelli said, a large percentage of the funds generated from the event go directly to helping the children.

The Gala features a cocktail hour, a full dinner, an open bar, dancing, and entertainment by several performers, including Rubby Perez, an internationally-known Dominican singer and orchestra leader.

“We want people to enjoy themselves, but understand the reason why we’re there, which is our children,” said Wendy Guzman, the Chairwoman of the Annual Gala. “Our children in Hogar Immanuel in Cangrejos, Dominican Republic are orphaned and disabled children who have absolutely nobody else to take care of them. These children only count on us and our organization to help them and provide all of their needs.”

“Not only are you going to have great food, you’re going to have awesome entertainment,” said Tavarez, “but you also have the satisfaction that you’re doing this for a great cause.”

Be sure to purchase tickets in advance -- no tickets will be available at the door, and they usually do sell out. For more information, to make a donation, or to purchase tickets online, visit: