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Latino Heritage Day celebrated with the Mud Hens

By Kevin Milliken for La Prensa


July 22, 2012: Latino students took home scholarship money, a mariachi band played, and Latino friends and family filled two sections of a Sunday summer evening baseball game.

Scholarship Recipients


If that didn’t present enough fun and excitement, a minor-league baseball game marked by home run after home run added an extra element of drama to a hot, sunny night punctuated by a fireworks display. The Toledo Mud Hens eventually lost 7-6 to the Indianapolis Indians, appropriately enough on a dinger late in the game.


Pregame ceremonies provided a happy start to the festivities including tremendous performances by Ballet Folklorico Imagenes Mexicanas of Perrysburg and Salvador Torres and his 6 mariachis from Detroit, courtesy of the Toledo Mud Hens and El Camino Real.

Several students were presented mock checks representing the scholarship money that will help them continue their academic pursuits at Lourdes University, Owens Community College and other institutions of higher education.


30-year old Consuelo Davila walked away with a $1,000 scholarship presented by María Morales of SAO, somehow able to carry a 3.5 GPA as a full-time nursing student at Lourdes University, despite the many competing demands on her time—wife and mother of one child with a second on the way, as well as part-time waitress at Ralphie’s sports eatery.


“It’s good for my future. It helps to pay for school out of pocket,” she said of the $1,000 scholarship. “It just overall will help out. It helps so I won’t have to work as much and focus more on school.”

Three-year old Brayden and husband Andrew snapped photos alongside her father during the check presentation at home plate.


“I think it’s great what she’s doing,” said her husband. “Working, helping to pay the bills, with kids—it’s awesome that she went back. Going back is one thing; finishing is another. Once you go back full-time after passing the traditional age, I’m proud of her.”

Scholarship Recipients

“Not much sleep and a whole lot of motivation” is how she described how she maintains good grades.


“This little guy and a baby on the way—I have a lot of stuff to work toward,” she said with a wide smile.


María Symeou also received a $1,000 scholarship to continue her pre-nursing studies at Lourdes University. Lourdes representative Kelly Bishop was present at the field-time recognitions.


“It’s really good. With the economic times, it just shows how everybody’s trying to reinvent themselves,” said Phil Barbosa, Spanish American Organization (SAO) president.

“They’re all trying to better themselves, it comes along slowly, and I’m just glad they all applied. We’re here to help.”


SAO awarded a total of $3,312 in scholarship money this year, raising funds with three primary events—the Mud Hens game, a Michigan-Ohio State football party each November, and a Christmas party. The group is always looking for additional donors.

SAO has given college scholarships for more than a decade to deserving Latino students, passing out more than $25,000 to date at Latino Heritage Night. Two Owens students each received $656 scholarships from SAO.


Scholarships of $656 each went to Samantha Berryhill and Dianna Ysasi. “It means I can afford more technology and books that I might need,” said Samantha Berryhill, a sophomore majoring in pre-law, said. “This helps me to actually make my dreams come true.”

Salvador Torres and his Detroit mariachis


20-year old Whitmer graduate Dianna Ysasi is now a sophomore at Owens and just completed her massage therapy license on her way to a nursing degree. She plans to use her new skills-set to pay for college.

“Hopefully this will allow me to get a laptop and further my studies,” she said of the SAO scholarship. “It helps a lot, because I have seven brothers and sisters, a big family, and my parents are taking care of the younger ones. So I need to help myself.”


La Prensa presented scholarships to St. Francis de Sales High School students who are also members of LASSO, a Spanish-American club, increasing the newspaper’s normal award.

“It’s a really big opportunity for me, because it really helps fund my college and helps out my family with tuition,” said Kevin Kapela, who will begin his freshman year in a few weeks at the University of Cincinnati and was recognized on the Fifth Third baseball field with a $250 scholarship. “Everything helps. I really appreciate it.”


At St. Francis de Sales HS, Kevin was active in sports, LASSO, and the school’s ministry. Kevin’s parents—Jim and Elizabeth Kapela—were present.

Yvonne Ramos singing the national anthem


A $500 award went to John Antoszewski, who will begin his studies at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. Eastern Michigan has a large Latino population and is ever-recruiting Latino students. At St. Francis de Sales HS, John was active in sports and LASSO. John’s mother, Angie Duran, was present.


John Orozco, the facilitator at St. Francis for the Latin American Student Support Organization (LASSO) attended the award ceremony.


Also as part of the pre-game ceremonies, Yvonne Ramos sang a rousing rendition of the national anthem, prompting enthusiastic applause from the large crowd.


Adrianne Chasteen represented La Prensa by throwing out a ceremonial first pitch, rearing back and throwing a high fastball reminiscent of her days as a softball shortstop. Retired sheriff’s deputy Luis González tossed another throw to represent SAO, bouncing it in the left-handed batter’s box—but prompting a high-five between the two pitchers.

The Toledo Mud Hen’s catcher gave Adrianne a 7 and Luis a 5.


Luis González first pitch

Brooks Insurance

Ballet Folklorico Imagenes Mexicanas

Ballet Folklorico Imagenes Mexicanas

Adrianne Chasteen adndLuis González

Lulu Perales con hijas

Lulu Perales

Maria Morales y John Orozco

Josh Flores

Sylvester Duran

Adelita & Adrianne with Kroger's Pepe

Ballet Folklorico Imagenes Mexicanas

University of Findlay Oilers mascot

Salvador Torres and Jesus Angel


Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/07/12 19:34:22 -0700.





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