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Fundraiser for Ernie Gonzales: retired teacher, principal and current mariachi instructor

Diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus

By Ernie Gonzales Benefit Committee


Ernie Gonzales, a retired teacher, principal and current mariachi instructor has taught hundreds of students to play and sing mariachi music since the mid 1980’s when he started a mariachi group at Santa Fe Vo Tech.  When he became a Principal, he instructed/directed the Kaune Elementary Mariachi. Currently instructs/directs Mariachi Conquistador at Milagro Middle School.  Many of his former students have started their own mariachi groups or joined existing groups throughout New Mexico.  Students credit the mariachi programs with giving them pride in culture and identity and for providing encouragement to continue their education.  Currently he directs Mariachi Conquistador at Milagro Middle School.

Over the summer of 2017, Mr. Gonzales heard the three worst words any individual can hear, “You have Cancer”.  He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and began seeking treatment options. He eventually was accepted into a clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston, TX, and began his treatments in early October. This is his best hope for long-term survival. But, he must travel to Houston every two weeks for these potentially life-saving treatments. The Gonzales’ receive some assistance with travel, lodging, and meal expenses, but the true costs far exceed the assistance received and the ability of the Gonzales’ to cover with their retirement income. There is also an after-insurance amount due for each treatment.

A committee of friends and relatives is hosting a fundraising dance on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Fraternal Order of EAGLES, 833 Early Street, Santa Fe, NM, from 7 pm to 11 pm. Along with the dance, a Silent Auction will take place simultaneously.  Music will be provided by Freddy Chavez and Durango.  For more information, please contact MaryHelen Kelty at 505-470-7940 or email her at mhkelty@gmail.com. Thank you for your consideration!

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