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PCI Honors Local Humanitarians, Raises More than $500,000 to Support Global Work

Published 11/14/2016 by Global Communities

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 15, 2016) – San Diego-based nonprofit PCI (Project Concern International) raised more than $500,000 at its 27th annual Hands Across Borders gala on October 22, 2016, in support of its efforts to meet the needs of families in 14 countries around the world.

Co-chaired by Julie Klaus, Elizabeth Roemer and Maria Decker, the event brought together over 500 people at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine to celebrate PCI’s work. The evening honored three local philanthropists who have each made a significant difference in the lives of millions of children.

PCI’s founder attended the gala and presented Del Mar residents Larry and Mary Lynn Weitzen with the PCI Founder’s Award for their lifelong support of the organization’s humanitarian projects. The Weitzens have been friends of PCI since its earliest days and started two of the organization’s biggest fundraising events: the Hands Across Borders gala and the Robert F. Driver Memorial Golf Tournament. Today, Larry is a board member and valued advisor and Mary Lynn is helping one of our local Women Empowered groups learn jewelry making as a means of sustaining their households.

PCI’s Hero Award was presented to Gregoria (Goya) Quiroz, a volunteer community health worker who has volunteered her services with PCI Mexico for over 30 years. She was one of the pioneers of PCI’s Well Baby Clinics and a driving force behind PCI’s success raising TB cure rates along the border to over 90 percent.

“We are proud to honor the hard work of people like Goya and Larry and Mary Lynn, whose humanitarian efforts have touched millions of lives,” said George Guimaraes, PCI President and CEO.

“And thanks to the kindness and generosity of San Diegans and donors all over the world, we are in a better to position to provide communities with the tools and resources they need to have a better life,” added Guimaraes.

PCI also honored Southwest Airlines with its 2016 Corporate Leadership Award. As a corporate partner and sponsor of PCI for more than 17 years, Southwest has helped touch the hearts and lives of millions around the world. Under the leadership of their Manager of Corporate Community Affairs, Lidia Martinez, Southwest has donated essential in-kind resources to PCI’s work, as well as facilitated significant introductions to partners, media and other like-minded organizations.

To view event photos, click here


PCI is a global health, development, and humanitarian organization working in 14 countries. It was founded in San Diego 55 years ago after a local doctor was inspired by saving two children’s lives while volunteering in Tijuana. The organization is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefiting over 19 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. In San Diego, PCI operates maternal and child health programs, anti-trafficking and Women Empowered initiatives, and chronic disease prevention and management programs. For more information, please visit