According to Bob Salazar, a member of the Spanish American Organization (SAO) that promoted the event in collaboration with La Prensa, “We sold 600 tickets this year, with the proceeds benefiting Latino students at Owens Community College, Lourdes College, and St. Francis de Sales High School.”
SAO Scholarships were awarded to: Audrey Erard and Ann Pasquinelly of Lourdes College and Stephanie Smith and Ashley Smith of Owens Community College.
Mary Morales, past president of SAO, announced the scholarships. Part of the Lourdes scholarship proceeds were derived from a $250 donation by LatinoFest, with matching funds from Lourdes.
Rico Neller and Carla Soto announced a La Prensa $500 scholarship to St. Francis de Sales High School senior Gabe DeHoyos, who will be attending the University of Toledo. De Hoyos is a member of LASSO and on hand was its coordinator John Orozco.
Toledo Councilperson Lourdes Santiago presented resolutions to the organizations, recognizing the importance of scholarship, cultural diversity, and Toledo baseball.
John Aguirre, president of Latinos Unidos, and Claudia Annoni, of Adelante, threw the first pitch on behalf of SAO and La Prensa, respectively.
This year the Toledo Mud Hens has two active Latinos on its roster—Humberto Sánchez and David Espinosa. Sánchez, 23, is a right-handed pitcher and hails from the Dominican Republic. He was originally drafted by Los Angeles in 2000, and went 8-1 with an ERA of 1.17 in 12 games to earn the NJCAA Region II Pitcher of the Year in 2002.
Espinosa, 24, hails from Caracas, Venezuela, and played outfield for the Mud Hens for one month last year, after being acquired by the Tigers from Cincinnati. Both Sánchez and Espinosa signed autographs, prior to the game.
Prior to the event, the SAO hosted a tailgate party at the home of its president, Phil Barbosa. The evening culminated in fireworks.