A staff of volunteer “Mosos Famosos” (celebrity waiters)
served a family-style dinner of meat, shrimp, and vegetable
fajitas to a crowd hungry to help the art and cultural center
raise money to fund its programming. The meal also included rice
and beans, along with a dessert of
vanilla ice cream with blueberries and a cookie. 130 people
bought tickets to the event, including families.
"We were really happy with the turnout," said Taylor
Balderas-Burciaga, SQACC executive director. "We made some
major changes. We did more of a family-style seating and serving
of the food. It was more about passing and sharing of the food
and that went over really well."
Many of the volunteer servers came from groups this year,
because Waite High School students happened to be on
spring break and many were unavailable. But a focus was still on
youth, as many members of the FLOC Homies Union helped to
serve the family-style meal.
fundraising dinner helps support the center’s mission of
celebrating and educating others on Latino culture
through programs such as art classes, cultural cooking classes,
health and community education, community gardens and
“We do a program where I give an overview of our programs at the
center,” she said. “The last couple of years, we give tours
during the event and that's been really successful. We always
tell people that it's easier to show people what we do than tell
them. So a couple of staff and I went around and gave tours.
That really goes into depth—about the gardens, the art
galleries, and the events center. So that was really good to get
that one-on-one time.”
A tent leading to the community gardens showcases artwork for an
upcoming exhibition and items from the SQUACC store. Ms.
Balderas-Burciaga pointed out that every program is represented
in the tent display, allowing dinner-goers to ask questions
about the center. That is just as important, because the event
serves as much as a "friend-raiser" as it does fundraiser.
“That's huge. That's the whole other half of why we do this
event is to get those relationships going—whether it's possible
partnerships, possible donors, even possible attendees for our
programs” she said. “That's why I really like to walk around and
talk to people. You can really figure out one-on-one what
interests them. That's really an important perspective why we
try to bring all the programs into this event, so we can see
where their enjoyment is and talk with them from there. Donors
don't start as donors, they responders to relationships.”
Ms. Balderas-Burciaga thanked staff, sponsors, and volunteers
alike for making the evening happen. Presenting sponsors
included Key Bank, Tireman, and First Federal Bank.