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An Extraordinary Evening

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pittsburgh – When Roy Juarez Jr. was 14 years old, he was homeless and responsible for caring for his nine-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother. Today he is a nationally renowned speaker who has inspired over 100,000 students across the country.

Juarez’s story, "Homeless by Choice", is one of the incredible tales of triumph over adversity found in Ordinary People Extraordinary Planet, written by Shellie Hipsky, associate professor of education at Robert Morris University. Hipsky’s book and a CD version of Juarez’s story will be included in a swag bag for attendees of “An Extraordinary Evening,” a Latin-themed dinner and show fundraiser set for Saturday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Grazie Event Center in Wexford.

Juarez will be the keynote speaker at this red carpet affair, which will include a silent auction, a live band and sizzling Latin dancers, delicious Latin-fusion food, dessert, and salsa instruction followed by a night of salsa dancing to live band Azucar. The event benefits the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, which helps to meet the needs of over 3,000 children in Allegheny County every year through its learning centers in 12 local homeless shelters by providing textbooks, tutors, computers, and books. 

Robert Morris University’s School of Education and School Sciences will also be presenting an Educator of the Year Award during the event in honor of a wonderful teacher who has dedicated her life to helping homeless children.

Tickets for the “An Extraordinary Evening” fundraiser are $50. VIP tickets are also available, and include drinks during a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m., during which attendees can socialize with Juarez.

Prizes will also be raffled during the event. A silent auction including coveted celebrity-signed memorabilia will take place as well. If you are interested in corporate sponsorship, please contact Hipsky at

For tickets, call Zach Marsh at the Homeless Children's Education Fund at 412-216-8008. For more information on upcoming events or ways you can help the organization, please visit

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.