UT Latino Student Union to host dance with Las Fénix, Chávez blood drive
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent
March 10, 2014: The Latino Student Union at the University of Toledo has a busy month ahead—hosting its annual scholarship dance and sponsoring a César Chávez blood drive.
A Houston-based, five-girl band will make its second Toledo appearance in less than a year as the featured entertainment at the LSU scholarship dance on Saturday, March 22, 2014.
Las Fénix is comprised of the five Rodríguez sisters, ranging in age from 13 to 24. The band features Tejano and regional Mexican music in a repertoire that should appeal to Latinos of all ages and backgrounds.
According to the band’s biography, Las Fénix started unofficially in 1999, when four of the sisters surprised their father David Rodríguez, now the group’s manager, on his birthday by singing a couple of songs. The band first played Toledo last summer at Midwest LatinoFest held at Promenade Park downtown.
“We realized we needed to change the direction of our organization and the scholarship dance because our numbers have been down the past five years,” said Jacob Torres, LSU president. “We realized we needed to get a big band. They wanted to play a college for the first time, so they were all for it.”
The LSU dance committee won’t be surprised to see a sellout—because so many people are now familiar with Las Fénix and its high-energy show. The event’s capacity is 500.
“I do think it will appeal to a wide variety of audience, because our scholarship dance tends to have the older Latino community there, as well as Adrian, Defiance, Fremont,” said Torres. “The university wants us to draw the younger campus students as well. I think meeting both criteria will make the dance that much better.”
Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the dance, to be held at the UT student union. DJ Rene Hernández will kick off the evening’s entertainment 7-9 p.m, to be followed by a scholarship presentation. Las Fénix will take the stage at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at the UT student union, from LSU officers, or by credit card by phoning 419.530.2931 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets purchased by phone can be picked up the night of dance. Torres is hoping that will make it easier for out-of-town supporters to purchase tickets and attend the scholarship dance.
César ChávezBlood Drive
“That’s the first time we’ve ever done something like this,” said the LSU president.
On March 31, LSU volunteers will assist another campus group with UT’s first-ever César Chávez blood drive, to be held in the student union’s Ingman Room. Blood donations can be given from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Alpha Psi Lambda, a co-educational, Latino-oriented college fraternity, is spearheading the effort. Dylan Wee, son of Toledo Board of Community Relations executive director Linda Alvarado, is one of the organizers.
The date of the blood drive coincides with National Farm Worker’s Awareness Week, held the last week of March each year to recognize farmers and the rights they’ve fought for over the decades.
According to Torres, the LSU chapter at Bowling Green State University has hosted the César Chávez blood drive for several years, finishing third among the nation’s participating campuses last year. This year’s goal is to reach 300 U.S. college campuses.
Blood donor appointments can be made through the Red Cross or by contacting UT students Selena Gómez at 419.206.8829 or Dylan Wee at 419.789.8065.
A recent LSU meeting also featured a presentation by LSU alumnus and Waite High School Spanish teacher Josh Flores, about a new mentoring program by the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate. Those alumni will work with upperclassmen from LSU to prepare them for the professional work world following graduation.