As most of you already know, Lela II was born in Cozumel back in December 2010. Her first mission was ambitious, but we wanted to come in with a bang! For the months of December, January and February, Lela collected donations for a Blood Bank on the island of Cozumel– her new hometown.
Guests from Mazatlan,Cozumel and our new location Los Cabos rallied together to raise a tremendous $3117USD for all three months!
Our goal was to get through all the red tape – opening a blood bank was a much more ambitious task than expected, and we did everything in our power to achieve this goal. After months of meetings, negotiations, arguments with government officials and more, our Blood Bank proposal was rejected by the state of Quintana Roo and we had to abandon the idea of opening a Blood Bank.
We pondered, and ummmed, and ahhhed and wondered what to do…then it hit us – let’s sit down with Red Cross Cozumel and see where Lela’s donation could be best put to work! So, after looking at their big picture, Salsa and Salsa, along with Lela, Lela II and Lela III (hehehe) decided your donations would have to SAVE LIVES!
As it would have done with the Blood Bank, your donations went towards the purchase to two necessary pieces of equipment for the volunteer work of the Red Cross in Cozumel. You’ll be proud to know your donation went towards an EKG machine and a defibrillator. Both machines will be used in the 5 ambulances which Red Cross has on the island. The defibrillator has already save a man’s life and both machines will help hundreds of people more!
The Red Cross in Mexico runs solely on donations, with no government support. When we approached the Director for Red Cross Cozumel, Mr Dagoberto, with our idea, he thanked us with a hug which I can only describe as being the warmest, most appreciative hug I have ever experienced in my life. The machines have arrived to Cozumel, and Red Cross wants to thank each and every one of you, thanks to your kind and generous help – you’ve done something that will truly make a difference to this island – and it is something that will last forever.
Thank you one and all – and we look forward to hearing from you.
Dancing Chef – Cozumel
In the wake of the devastating earthquake which rocked New Zealand’s second largest city, Christchurch is left with the painstaking task of rebuilding a city which was hit hard by the 6.3 earthquake on Tues, 22 Feb, 2011.
Images and video footage of the earthquake bring back memories of the Chilean earthquake, with people looking around, not knowing who to turn to or what to do.
Having lived in New Zealand for a total of three years, it pained me to see the distress this earthquake has caused. Less than six months prior, the same city suffered from another earthquake and the town was only just beginning to rebuild itself and its confidence.
I spent time further south in a city called Dunedin, a gorgeous city, filled with beautiful views, kind people and a port which invites anyone and everyone to visit the charming town. I had been there with my then boyfriend, a New Zealander who had moved to Melbourne for new opportunities. We met, fell in love and it was time to meet his family. When we decided to move to Dunedin, we had left everything behind to start a new life. I had already left home and had also moved to Sydney. My life of adventure was well on its way! Looking for work was easy, I had plenty of hospitality experience, so I joined the team at ‘The Reef Seafood Restaurant’ where I was the supervisor. I grew to love Dunedin. It’s people, it’s streets and even it’s weather (picture Seattle rain and its skies times 10!!).
Well, jump forward a good 13-14 years and that relationship did not work out, although we still stay in touch. I had taken several trips to Christchurch. I am a secret wine buff (oops, secret’s out!) so I enjoyed taking road trips to wineries in and around the Christchurch area. Many of you have probably even tried some of the wines!!
As you can see from the map, there are many wine regions in New Zealand and Christchurch is a popular one in Canterbury.
I still get online and look for photos and video of the earthquake, as I find it hard to believe that many of the places that I have been through are destroyed. Reports indicate that aftershocks are still disrupting many parts of the city, delaying the return of up to 1/3 of its residents.
LELA has chosen Christchurch as her cause for the month of March, and we will be donating 100% of her donations to the Red Cross in Christchurch, as we know they have feet on the ground over there. We’d like to thank all donors as this cause holds a special place in my heart.
For those who are lucky enough to ever get to New Zealand, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of its people, its food, its cities and its wine, because anyone who goes to New Zealand and DOESN’T try a glass of Sauvignon Blanc should be locked up! 😉
I’d also like to send all our hopes and prayers to victims of the Japan earthquake. We are working towards making Lela in April for Japan, but as our planet cries out for help, we cross our fingers that no more earthquakes shake our world and leave others in need.
Sending our love,
Pamela and all the Dancing Chefs
It’s always an honor to bring you the Lela totals every month. This month, Lela in Mazatlan chose Doctor’s Without Borders as their charity. With plenty of Christmas love, our guests collected a loving $474USD and the money was sent directly to DWB. Salsa and Salsa is always finding new causes and trying to give back to the community. We try to find something current in the news, where the help will really make a difference. So far, we have raised an amazing amount of donations from Lela…a whopping $4941USD!!!
2010 was such a fulfilling year for Lela.
She helped Haiti Victims by helping with medical supplies.
Lela donated to the Red Cross which went towards helping the families of the West Virginia Miners.
Chile received a donation to buy construction material to rebuild their school after the devastating earthquake.
Nashville Flood Victims got a helping hand through Hands on Nashville and Lela put smiles over there.
In June, Lela donated to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure campaign, helping millions of woman fight cancer and raise awareness. 2010 marked the 21st running of the series in D.C. The event raised over $4.5 million and it great to think we were a part of that!
Epilepsy was in the spotlight in July, through a charity named “Danny Did Organization“, an amazing group raising awareness and working on a cure for Epilepsy.
In Cozumel, Lela is on a mission to help start the process of getting a Blood Bank on the island. We’ve extended Lela’s cause in Cozumel for January and February to make more of an impact. For December, little Lela raised an amazing $625USD!!
Happy New Year to you all, and to another promising year for little Lela the Famous Donating Pig.
Lela does it again. She found some relatives in West Virginia that needed some help! The month of August was dedicated to raising donations for an animal sanctuary named PIGS, A Sanctuary.
We had a lot of fun taking pictures and receiving donations from all our guests. You can find all the pictures for the month of August by <clicking here>.
Founded in 1992, PIGS is a place of refuge for abused, abandoned, neglected and unwanted animals. They specialize in the care of potbellied pigs and farm pigs, but shelter other farm and domestic animals as well. The Sanctuary currently provides a safe haven for approx. 400 animals, including pigs, horses, cats, dogs, goats and many other animals. Considering August was a slow month (our low season) we were pleasantly surprised when we opened little Lela up and found $213USD!! It’s amazing to think we got that from 8 shows!! Thank you to everyone. The folks at PIGS are very grateful for your loving generosity.
September’s Lela cause will be supporting the group SURVIVAL. For more information on the group please visit :
We did it! On Thursday we opened up our donating pig, Lela. Our Monthly ritual of opening little Lela has become an exciting part of our routine. Leonique and I play a guessing game, as to how much Lela has collected for the month. As you know, Lela was collecting for your Danny Did Foundation. Your uncle and Executive Director of the Foundation, Tom Stanton, has been a great help, thanks to him, we were able to make this happen. He sent us an article regarding SUDEP and Epilepsy, which I’m sure you would find interesting.
The NY Times published an article regarding the death of a young teenage boy (he was 19…) due to SUDEP. Just like yourself, he was taken at a young age. The article raises several alarming issues regarding the stigma of SUDEP, how it is considered controversial for a doctor to mention it to his patient unless the patient is a high-risk candidate, as it may ‘burden‘ the patient. Maybe if it was mandatory for doctor’s to mention it and make families aware of the issue, we might find less occurrences. The article is a good read and very informative and we have posted it below. Also, the resources page on the Danny Did website is a great source of information for those who need answers to their questions regarding Epilepsy.
We are doing what we can in raising awareness through social media and through our donations page and we hope that past guests and future guests will continue spreading the word. We hope the little we donate this month will help someone, somewhere and give them a little more hope than they had yesterday 🙂 Your smile gave us courage to speak up and tell people that something needs to be done.
Here is the link to the article on SUDEP : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/health/27epil.html
We are so so happy to say we collected $305USD for the Danny Did Foundation. These donations were made by cruise passengers from the Mariner of the Seas and Carnival Splendor. We had a total of 8 ships this month, so considering the majority of the donations are $1’s or the occasional $5, that’s an amazing accomplishment.
We had so many passengers come up to us and shake our hands, telling us they had a brother, or sister, or friend with Epilepsy and that raising awareness was so so important. So thank you Danny…thank you for giving us the opportunity to touch so many people’s lives, thank you for being there and thank you for having found your way into our hearts.
Danny, we hope that wherever you are, you are smiling, laughing, playing and seeing what an effect your life has made on so many lives. You can see the happiness here, a collection of pictures of everyone who donated to Lela the donating Pig for the month of July.
TWO DANCING CHEFS
Pamela and Leonique
We are pleased to announce that Lela’s donation made it to Nashville! For the month of May, we collected donations for victims of the Nashville Floods. We chose ‘Hands on Nashville’ as the charity that received the donation.
Our contact in Nashville was the lovely and very helpful Shannon Finnegan Scott, who as we had mentioned on the tour, works at Cannon Productions (Production Coordinator). When we chose Nashville, we didn’t know where to start…we thought of Kenny Chesney (lol) and eventually found our way to Shannon. We told her about Lela, and she was more than happy to help and be our person in Nashville 🙂
‘Hands on Nashville’ is an organization that Shannon supports and so we looked at it and they do wonderful things, so Shannon was sent the check and she arranged a meet with Brian Williams, the Executive Director at Hands On Nashville. Brian was delighted to hear about Lela and the kindness you all showed with your donations.
We thank everyone for their generosity! We raised $457USD for Nashville, so give yourselves all a big round of applause!! We have reconstructed our Lela Page, so be sure to have a quick look! Also, all Lela photos from June onwards will be posted on the Salsa and Salsa Business Listing Page, so if you haven’t added it to your ‘LIKES’ on Facebook, be sure to click on it so view the pictures and tag yourselves.
June has been a busssssssssy month for us, with Father’s Day, my trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas and the growing crowds at the Salsa Tour, we are getting more photos than ever (which we absolutely LOVE!), we have lots to share with you. Look forward to a few more blog posts this week with some guests photos and some exciting news we have that we are waiting to announce 😉
Our little Lela has come a very long way! For the month of April, we have collected a whopping $754.47USD!!
We really are amazed at the generosity that everyone has shown for our little pig. As Leonique says, it’s truly amazing that a little pig, in a little tour, in the middle of Mexico, can help and reach so many people…
April donations will be heading to victims of the earthquake in Chile, which occurred a little while ago. As most of you know, I was born in Chile and have most of my relatives there. I have seen first hand the devastation through the eyes of my family, and the internet, I have seen photos, news footage and youtube clips of horrific damage, homelessness, destruction and looting.
It will always touch my heart to see people pulling together in times of desperation. And the support came from all over the world. Not only did we have people donate at the show, we had people donating online, from as far as India and as close as the USA. So thank you to everyone for their donations. Lela will continue helping those who need her help!
We recently sent off the donations to the West Virginia Red Cross Chapter, to help the wives and families of the 27 men who lost their lives. Our prayers go out to all those involved. A total of $118USD was sent and collected in less than 1 week.
It’s always fun to be able to come up with a new and innovative way to help others. LELA really has been fun, with our Facebook Album #2, LELA has had her photo taken with more than 400 people, making her one of the most charitable pigs in Mazatlan!
GO LELA GO!
Changing subjects, we are now in May – Happy May Day to you all! We have finally got our Newsletter up and running, so expect us in your inbox within the next 24hrs, with lots of fun new stuff for you to remember us by!
Haven’t joined the newsletter yet? It’s easy, just go onto our website and on the top right, there is a box for Newsletter Sign Up. Takes 5 seconds 🙂
We have a fun and exciting giveaway, so be sure to check it out! Again, we thank everyone for their charitable donations and we hope the end of one month, brings change and a new sense of well being into the new month!
Hooray for May!
lots of love
(aka dancing chef!)
For those who have yet to visit our new website, we have a section on there about LELA, our donation Pig. Her mission is to collect 250,000 paracetamol tablets and send them to where they are needed most. Every time we have ships docked in port, we bring her out and people give what they can to help her reach her goal. If you haven’t seen her in action, take a quick peek at our Facebook Lela Album, where we have over 150 photos of people donating and holding (and recently kissing!) little Lela.
Lela is an integral part of our tour. It’s our way of “giving back”…
Since January 2010, we have collected nearly $1000USD from guests who have donated to each worthy cause.
Jan 14 – Feb 27 donations went to Haiti (after the devastating earthquake there)
Feb 28 – April 6 donations going to Chile (a personal cause, as I was born there and have most of my family there…)
April 7 donations going to West Virginia (a horrible mining accident killed a total of 29 miners)
April 8 – present donations going to Chile (so much work and help is still needed there…we just don’t hear about it anymore)
We have been lucky enough to find a contact for each cause. For Haiti, we had a lovely young lady named Kara Telesmanick join the tour back in March and found out she had been working in Haiti with children when the earthquake happened. Kara was on a mission of her own, to help undernourished children with the CNP (Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti). Have a quick look at the You Tube video for what they are about 😉 (**a special thanks to Laura Lindroth for her help and attention**)
We are proud to say we raised a total of $413USD for Haiti and look forward to sharing photos with you in relation to the kids in Haiti.
Here are Salsa and Salsa, we try our hardest to give back and ask that if you have friends or relatives that are able to donate, that you send them the link to this blog post 🙂 The more people that are aware of these disasters, the more help each cause will receive.
Leonique reminded me the day the Haiti donation was made, that we should take a moment out of our busy schedules to remember those who had passed on from each disaster. I had plans to go out for my friends birthday, and as I sat there in a nice fancy restaurant, looking at my fancy food and drinking my fancy wine, Leonique’s words echoed in my head and I took a moment to be grateful for what I had…sometimes we take for granted the simple things.
Thanks to all those who have helped make Lela the Pig such a great success. Donations online are always welcome and appreciated. We will keep you always informed as to her paracetamol count, available on the bottom left hand corner of our website!