Donor Spotlight: The Power of Friendship in Philanthropy

Earlier this month, The San Diego Symphony performed a free concert in Tijuana, Mexico, at CECUT, the country’s second largest cultural center. Orchestrating this concert took a lot of work and cooperation between the city government of Tijuana, the San Diego Symphony, and its supporters. Three friends in particular, Monica Fimbres (left), Sandra den Ujil (left center) and Elisa Jaime (far right) with San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer (center), went above and beyond to help raise money for this program. The three women met through their work with the Ronald McDonald Foundation and have since become avid supporters of the San Diego Symphony and a formidable unit of philanthropy. “Together we are a pretty strong force,” said Sandra, “that’s for sure.”

When Monica, Sandra, and Elisa first heard about the plan to bring the orchestra to CECUT, they felt compelled to help make the dream a reality. “This all started with an idea of something,” said Monica. “How are we going to make this happen?” Together, the three came forward with their generous support and encouraged their friends and families to get involved as well. “If there is someone who should receive all the accolades, it is Monica,” said Sandra. “She was a superstar.” Monica, a native to the city of Tijuana, was passionate about helping support this event and campaigned tirelessly to bring in donations from her friends and relatives in Mexico. “As a family unit,” said Monica, “we come together and will always try to give back to Tijuana, which has given so much to us.

The performance took place on November 3rd, the day of the Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico, and drew an exuberant audience from all over Tijuana and San Diego.  “There were people from all walks of life,” said Elisa. “I could see the excitement and enthusiasm in their faces, and I’m happy that the Symphony was able to provide that experience for people without the opportunity to come to San Diego.” Led by Music Director Rafael Payare, the orchestra performed a beautiful concert that included works by Richard Strauss and David Chesky, as well as Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz’s Kauyumari, which embodies the spirit of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. “Rafael is amazing and full of contagious energy,” said Sandra. “He was the perfect instrument to bring it home into Mexico.”



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