Parkite Brigitte Elliot seeks donations for U-SA Cares for Life |

Parkite Brigitte Elliot seeks donations for U-SA Cares for Life

Park City resident Brigitte Elliot is on a mission.

Elliot, a teacher at Little Miners Montessori School, sits on the board of directors for U-SA Cares for Life, the Utah chapter of SA Cares for Life, a nonprofit organization that cares for South African families in crisis due to HIV/AIDS.

She is seeking silent-auction and opportunity drawing donations that will be offered during Puttin’ on the Ritz: Casino Night, a U-SA Cares for Life fundraiser that will be held at the Noah’s Event Venue, 322 W. 11000 South, South Jordan, on June 3.

"I’m searching for item donations from Park City," Elliot said during an interview with The Park Record. "The only things I have so far from the area are stays at the Best Western Landmark Inn and at the Hampton Inn and a $25 gift certificate from Ruby Tuesday restaurant and another donation from Adolph’s restaurant. So I’m still going door to door looking for donations."

People and businesses that would like to donate an item can call Elliot at 435-655-5163.

The June 3 fundraiser, which will also benefit the West Jordan Rotary Club, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased by visiting Tickets will also be available at the door for $25.

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People who can’t attend, but still want to donate can visit the website as well.

"The fundraiser will feature casino games and opportunity drawings to raise money," Elliot said. "We will have free food and drinks and people can purchase adult beverages if they want."

A donation of $25 a month can go a long way with the U-SA Cares for Life program, according to Elliot.

"It will help provide basic food parcels, education opportunities and school supplies for a child and his or her family, or provide a baby with 150 diapers, 180 bottles of formula, specialized medical treatments and legal and social-work assistance," she said. "It can also help fund a cluster-care mom who will support 15 HIV or AIDS affected families with counseling and temporary child care."

Elliot visited South Africa last November and said there is a "desperate need" for help.

"We are helping thousands of children with preschools and schools," she said. "These schools are the only place where the children can get something to eat because they live in such poverty. Many of these children don’t know what a kitchen is because they don’t eat at home.

"The teachers told me that Monday is the hardest day of the week because the kids are home all weekend but haven’t eaten anything since Friday when they were last at school," Elliot said. "Even the teachers slept at the schools and worked for free so they could eat something, too."

Families live in houses made out of aluminum that collapse when storms hit the area.

"I honestly feel that most of the pets in the United States are in better shape and are better taken care of than these children we are trying to help," Elliot said. "It’s so dire that even when we teach the children how to brush their teeth, but we have to keep their toothbrushes at school because if they take them home, they will share the toothbrushes with the rest of their families."

The money raised will be used to maintain the equipment for the U-SA Cares for Life programs.

"We train the older children to do so many important and interesting things, like sewing school uniforms or baking food to sell in the villages," Elliot said. "We also have children working on art projects to sell as well."

In 2012, an estimated 6 million South Africans were living with HIV or AIDS, and the number of new HIV-infected young adults grows annually by 370,000, according to Elliot.

"More than 40,000 new cases are diagnosed among children ages 15 and younger," she said. "So any donation will be greatly appreciated."

U-SA Cares for Life will host Puttin’ on the Ritz: Casino Night fundraiser at Noah’s Event Venue, 322 W. 11000 South, in South Jordan, on Friday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit or email