Dancing sensation Cheryl Burke to hold fundraiser in Bay Area

Cheryl Jennings Image
ByCheryl Jennings KGO logo
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Dancing with the Stars celebrity Cheryl Burke

Dancing with the Stars celebrity Cheryl Burke is coming back to the Bay Area soon to host a big fundraiser.

She and her mother, Sherri Burke, help a non-profit that connects Silicon Valley to the Philippines. The man leading that effort is considered the Bill Gates of the Philippines.

Cheryl, a two time mirror ball trophy winner on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, danced with TV host Drew Carey this season. They didn't take home the trophy, but Cheryl is coming home for a fundraiser that hopes to be a big winner for a favorite charity.

Her mother, Sherri Burke and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dado Banatao visited the ABC7 News studio recently to talk about PhilDev, short for Philippine development, to improve that impoverished country.

"The goals we're building on, education, innovation, entrepreneurship," Sherri said.

"We may be crazy enough to be the only foundation that says we need to develop the economy of the Philippines to be a thriving, fast growth economy," Banatao said.

Banatao founded several Silicon Valley businesses, including Moston and S3 Graphics.

Now, he's with Tallwood Venture Capital. His heart is in philanthropy because of his humble beginnings. Banatao was born in the Philippines.

"My father was a farmer, my mother, a simple housewife," Banatao said.

They believed passionately in education. Banatao came to America and graduated from Stanford with a Masters in Electrical Engineering.

His charity, PhilDev, has a long term strategy to graduate as many PhDs as possible in the Philippines in science and engineering. He's connecting Silicon Valley to this effort to create Filipino entrepreneurs.

"I believe entrepreneurship is the fastest diffusion of wealth in the population. You're trying to raise the middle class, absolutely," Banatao said.

And that's why he and Sherri might be dancing at the fundraiser hosted by Cheryl.

"Cheryl will be bringing home a surprise partner or two. She doesn't want to release the names, but it will definitely be a pro or two from dancing with the stars," Sherri said.

For information on the event, click here.

They have set up a Facebook page where you can get more information on how to help.