LAREDO, Texas – The chair of the committee organizing a gala to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Area Health Education Center of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area is looking for media support.

Blas Castañeda said the gala takes place on on March 5, 2020 at the IBC Bank annex on Jacaman Road, Laredo.

“The main and overall focus and priority over the next few weeks is to promote our AHEC Gala event,” Castañeda told the Rio Grande Guardian.

“We want to promote the event by detailing the major success stories that AHEC has played in providing health and medical educational support for over 100,000 students in South Texas and thousands of professional adults with career recertifications programs, seminars, workshops, institutes and annual health and medical conferences.”

The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area is an outreach program under UT Health San Antonio and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a mission to “enhance the quality of life in the communities by increasing the number of well-trained healthcare workers; enhancing academic resources; and fostering a healthy lifestyle though community education programs.”

Castañeda said a 21-member gala event committee has been formed and this group, working with community leaders, want to make sure the  gala is a total success. By doing so, he said, the program will “raise the funds to support our continued success in providing critical services to our communities we serve.”

The fundraising from the gala will address two major purposes:

  • Support AHEC so it can continue operating its services and also to raise funds to offer scholarships to the area’s student population
  • Provide matching funds for public and private grant applications

“We need the media to help us promote the event so we can raise these critical funds as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of bringing health and medical access to a region that has had a long term need of these services,” Castañeda said. “We support our educational institutions hospitals, health departments  and many others with a trained workforce.”

Recently, the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area received a surprise from Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar.

Cuellar presented a $1,000 check in support of the AHEC 25 Year Anniversary Celebration Gala. The sheriff acknowledged the “countless hours and projects” that the AHEC is part of in the community. “AHEC has been making long strides through their efforts to inspire the youth to stay focused on an education and to become productive citizens and serve as role models for their peers,” Cuellar said.

Castañeda said he was “humbled” and expressed his gratitude to Cuellar for recognizing the value of AHEC in the community.

“As a founding board member and a leader in the community, I have a commitment to AHEC and our youth and that is to make sure we prepare for the next 25 years of outstanding service to the community. Sheriff, your contribution is significant,” Castañeda said.

AHEC Executive Director Ms. Julie Bazan said the upcoming gala will bring together numerous individuals to celebrate a milestone and highlight the positive impact of AHEC on the lives of many.

“AHEC benefits the entire community through its educational programs. Families, leaders, health care providers and over 100,000 students of all grade levels have received services through AHEC multiple programs. The dedication and commitment the AHEC staff displays in all they do is admired by many and has been recognized at the local, state and national level,” she said.

Castañeda added: “The AHEC Board of Directors and Gala Committee Members invite the community to the AHEC 25 Year Anniversary Celebration Gala scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at IBC Bank’s Annex Ballroom located at 2418 Jacaman Road, Laredo, Texas.”

For additional information about AHEC and the menu of programs, click here.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Blas Castañeda, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, and Julie Bazan.