Eighty low-income families in Guanajuato will soon be living in sound and secure houses they will build with materials provided by the Rotary Club of Ashland's recent fundraiser, Taste of Guanajuato.

Eighty low-income families in Guanajuato will soon be living in sound and secure houses they will build with materials provided by the Rotary Club of Ashland's recent fundraiser, Taste of Guanajuato.

Attended by nearly 300 people, the Aug. 21 event raised over $75,000 in donations and auction sales. A highlight of the evening occurred when 22 people purchased individual houses for $750. Each $750 from Ashland is matched by the city and state governments in Guanajuato, Mexico through the MiCasa DIFerente program, which identifies eligible families and then provides technical assistance to the recipients.

"We are heartened by the overwhelming support from members of this community for residents in our sister city," Rotary President Juli Di Chiro said.

Ashland Rotary representatives Angelica Ruppe and Brian Conrad presented a check for the new batch of houses while in Guanajuato recently as part of the Ashland sister-city delegation.

Receiving the check for over 677,000 pesos was Mayor Eduardo Romero Hicks, wife of Guanajuato Governor Sra. Marta Romero, president of DIF at the State level and Sra. Martha Romero Siekman, niece of the Mayor and president of DIF at the municipal level.

This is the second event where money raised by the Rotary Club of Ashland went directly to the MiCasa DIFerente program. Funds from the 2007 Taste of Guanajuato were used to provide new housing for over 400 family members. It's anticipated that more houses will be built in the future with funds raised in Ashland.

More information about this program or the Rotary Club of Ashland is available at ashlandrotary.org.