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Brunch with live reggae music benefits group that aids teachers

Giving back to the community has always been important to Mike Silva.

Silva, who is the founder and co-owner of Rude Boy Cookies, had created Cookies for a Cause and Warm Cookies for the Soul events to help benefit various causes and community organizations. Now Silva is throwing a brunch and day party featuring local reggae bands Iyah Band and Reviva on Sunday, Aug. 26, at Villa Hispana at Expo New Mexico. A portion of the proceeds from “Rude Boy Brunch and Day Party: Wake Up and Reggae!” benefit the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico.

“We have been in existence since 1994,” said Brian O’Connell, executive director of Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico. “We were invented to create a significant, important award for teachers. Our founder felt teachers needed more recognition than they are getting, so in the 23-24 years we’ve been doing it, we have given the Golden Apple to 153 of the best educators across New Mexico.”

Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico offers free professional development to teachers and tries to promote community engagement in partnership with teachers, policymakers and the community.

“We look for folks that are obviously committed to their profession and highly skilled in keeping the students engaged and fine-tuning their learning from student to student,” O’Connell said. “We often get a lot of teachers who have been in the profession a long time and are leaders at their school and an inspiration to their fellow teachers.”

Sunday’s benefit will have a reggae theme to it.

“I wanted to do something with music, because music seems to be something that brings people together, and reggae at its core speaks to people and unites people,” Silva said.

The event includes an all-you-can-eat brunch for $13. It will feature an omelet bar, taco bar, waffle station, choice of steak, chicken or roast beef, ranch-style beans, coffee, juices, iced tea and more.

Silva’s mother and mother-in-law have teaching backgrounds, which inspired him to create a benefit that would help teachers.

“I feel as a business owner that Albuquerque has a special place in my heart,” he said. “This place has done some tremendous good for our family. It’s been a great home for us back to when Mom moved us here when I was a little guy. There are people who sit on the sidelines and listen to complaints instead of being actively engaged to make an impact on our city. I think we can all do something. … If we all did a little something that impacts the city, that creates a tidal wave of good. We’re in need of that.”