Dinner with a mission

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By Lorna Ramirez

A fundraising event for the Hope of Melbourne College Foundation (HOMCF) was held last 1st of April at the Aurora Reception in Brunswick East, Victoria. It was attended by supporters, friends, and sponsors. All proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets and auctions were donated to the foundation.

Don’t be misled by its name because the foundation is actually based in Umingan Pangasinan, Philippines. Founded by Rey and Dory in 2008, their passions to help poor Filipino families for a better future through affordable education inspired them to start the HOMCF using their own funds and savings.

Rey runs his own restaurant, Reynaldo’s Grills and Sizzles in North Melbourne, a far cry from his early childhood. His family struggled to put food on the table. He left the remote island where he lived as a child, and went to Manilla. Determined to succeed, he started working as a dish washer, and worked his way up as a head chef in a five-star hotel, The Manilla Peninsula.

When the couple migrated to Australia, Rey worked as a kitchen manager in Crown and amongst other five star hotels in Melbourne. His wife worked as a unit nurse manager in a dialysis department in Williamstown and Sunbury hospital.

The foundation started with ninety-five students and in 2016 have produced 340 graduates. The courses offered are; Information Technology, Computer Hardware Servicing, Programming, and Hotel and Restaurant Management. They also offer short courses such as dressmaking, hairdressing, refrigeration mechanics, and all arts of trades.

The academic courses are registered to the Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the Philippines.

The foundation aims to provide quality and affordable education in order to give chance to underprivileged but deserving students to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required for their chosen career.

Although each course is very affordable which is around P10,000 per semester, the foundation still needs monetary and financial assistance to continuously provide scholarships and study grants to deserving students.

Following the fundraising event, those interested in being a part of this worthy cause can still give their donations to HOMCF.

For more information, contact Dory Aban on 0425 818 193 or email info@reynaldos.com.au.

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Lorna Ramirez
Lorna Ramirez was born, raised and educated in Manila in the Philippines, attaining a degree in Chemical Engineering and working as a laboratory manager in a textiles company. In 1977, with her husband and her son and daughter she migrated to Australia. She worked as a laboratory technician and a chemist in Australia, only retiring in the year 2000 to care for her first grandchild. Lorna Ramirez has traveled extensively, gaining much from her interactions with people all over the world and building a strong foundation for her philosophies about life. She loves gardening, cooking, and reading and playing the piano. She is also interested in the Stock Exchange. Throughout her life, Lorna Ramirez, a woman of faith, has been a wise observer of human behaviour and has collected her many pearls of wisdom and observations to produce this inspiring and uplifting book.

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