El Futuro’s 2023 Annual Expresiones Fall Fundraiser and Art Auction: Expresiones brought the community of Durham together for an unforgettable night supporting mental health services for the Latino community. This event included Azteca Grill’s delectable Mexican cuisine and desserts from Pure Soul that fueled everybody for the dance party after enjoying the local artist’s masterpieces. Two hundred fifty people attended the event with smiles and laughter echoing through The RickHouse, moving to the music with their colorful cocktail attire and dancing that lasted late into the evening. Guests compared the event’s elegance to the Latin Grammys and expressed how they loved the creative moss decorations at the tables and knew it would be a great night as soon as they walked in, describing their favorite thing about the event: the vibe! We know that “la cultura cura,” and we can achieve more profound healing for our community through expressions of cultural knowledge and practices, which everybody proudly participated in this event.

Expresiones is a Form of Art
Cambridge Dictionary defines expressions as saying what you think or showing how you feel using words or actions. The expressions of everybody who attended our art auction spoke volumes in support of our mission at El Futuro, as the community of Durham expressed their love and support. The art from our local artists, the words spoken by Luke, our Executive Director, Rocio, and Rosa, our Board Members, and everybody having a good time created a synergistic energy of our mission: creating brighter futures for familias. Our Advancement Manager, Mary Coffman, described the event as a “powerful, vibrant, energizing, hope-filled, fun, joyful night for Durham and our organization.” The most meaningful expressions came from everyone who attended the event; the love and support for El Futuro’s mission was palpable. Ms. Carol Garth encapsulates the event as she smiles from ear to ear, proudly wearing the Crown the Hero crown with joy radiating from her. One guest voiced, “After seeing El Futuro’s logo at the front (on the chalkboard) surrounded by all those colorful flowers and the palms, I will always think of El Futuro and the work it does as vibrant and hope-filled.” Vibrant is a great word to describe our work at El Futuro because our services reignite the vibrancy inside our clients and the vibrancy in their lives and futures.

Thank you
Each year, we have had the ability to grow our services and touch more people’s lives because of the community’s support of our organization. We wouldn’t be here without you, and thanks to you, our community’s mental health is improving, resulting in a healthier society. Thank you to the donors, supporters, local businesses, and Artists for helping us give mental health a voice, break mental health stigmas, and help families in our community enjoy a world full of expresiones. Thank you for bringing your smiles, dance moves, presence, and loving energies to support our organization and the mental health services we provide. This night, full of Expresiones, was possible thanks to the generous contributions of local businesses and individuals who gave their time and resources. We appreciate their continued generosity, which helps El Futuro thrive and move forward with the mission. $130,000 was raised, with 100% of the proceeds supporting El Futuro’s mental health and substance use treatment services. Muchisimas gracias, thank you so much to all the attendees, sponsors, and donors for helping create an extraordinary event to honor and support El Futuro’s work with Latino mental health. Our Executive Director, Luke Smith, said, “Thank you for helping us to continue to lay such a strong foundation for El Futuro’s efforts, helping us to serve people now y pa’lante (and onward).”

Article written by Candy Moreira BSN RN