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Latino Heritage Night with the Toledo Mud Hens was awesome,

Special  Tribute to Selena on August 30 at MidWest LatinoFest

By La Prensa Staffing


The Toledo Mud Hens defeated the Louisville Bats, 4 to 2, on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at the 12th annual Latino Heritage Night and scholarship presentation, presented by SAO and La Prensa.  


This year’s festivities featured pregame entertainment, 3-5 p.m., at the Ye Olde Cock n’Bull tavern, Huron and Washington, directly across from Fifth Third Field. Grupo Fuego, a popular Toledo/Pontiac-based Tejano band, performed on the tavern’s stage. Lead vocalist is diva Yvonne Ramos-Ybarra. The group has been recording new music for their upcoming release of a new CD. Yvonne and Fuego will also be the headliners in a special Selena Tribute at this year’s MidWest LatinoFest, scheduled for August 30, 2014 at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo.


Entertainment to the game was partially subsidized by the Toledo Mud Hens and El Camino Real restaurants.


Pregame festivities outside the ballpark’s main gate [Washington and Huron Streets] began at 4:30 p.m. and included mariachis and performances by El Corazón de México Ballet Folklorico, a non-profit Mexican dance troupe whose performers use dance in order to educate audiences on the rich culture of México. Postgame fireworks celebrated the event and victory of the Toledo Mud Hens.


Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins, and Lucas County Auditor Anita López threw “first pitches” for SAO and La Prensa. Ten-year-old Diego Díaz, who made the Perrysburg All-Star baseball team, also threw a “first pitch,” while celebrating his July 20th birthday.


Proceeds from the game benefits both the Spanish-American Organization’s (SAO) and La Prensa’s many benefit funds, which include scholarships. SAO also hosts Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, and community activities. SAO was founded in 1994 out of concern for the high Latino high school dropout rate and other educational concerns. Individual annual SAO memberships also will be available for $15 each. La Prensa has been publishing since 1989. 


La Prensa and SAO also co-hosts this year’s MidWest LatinoFest, scheduled at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo on Saturday, August 30, 2014, from 2 until 11:00PM.


“It’s a very, very popular event. We really don’t make any money on it. It’s more to bring the Hispanic community out and enjoy each other’s company,” said Carmen Barbosa, SAO secretary/treasurer, referring to the Toledo Mud Hens Scholarship Event. “It’s also a time for us to show some of our heritage by having the mariachis and someone of our heritage sing our music.”




Scholarships were awarded to college students during the pregame ceremonies beginning near home plate at 5:30 p.m.


Sara Mendoza, a sophomore majoring in pre-sonography, and Robert Santillan, a sophomore majoring in marketing and sales, each received a $717 scholarship to Owens Community College. An educational endowment with Owens was first established in 2003.

Grupo Fuego

Scholarship recipients John Adams and Christina Canales

El Corazón de México Ballet Folklorico

Diego Díaz


Christina Canales, a senior nursing major, and John Adams, a senior psychology major, each received a $1,000 scholarship to Lourdes University. SAO and Lourdes University first partnered on an educational endowment fund in 2006.


The mission of SAO and La Prensa is to support the Latino community and its youth by providing positive role models, stressing family bonds, morals, and the values of Latino culture.


“It’s so much fun. I enjoy doing this. It’s a lot of work because we’re committed to selling 400 tickets—but this year has been easier because every year they want to know about it, want to participate, and want to be a part of this whole group,” said Mrs. Barbosa, who explained people have called from as far away as Defiance and Lima. Rico of La Prensa agreed, stating that various cities in Michigan and Northeast Ohio have also become involved.


Currently, the Toledo Mud Hens boasts six Latino players: pitchers Melvin Mercedes (Dominican Republic) and José Ortega (Venezuela), second baseman Hernán Pérez (Venezuela), catchers Manny Piña (Venezuela), Ronny Paulino (Dominican Republic), and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera (Venezuela).


The Louisville Bats roster contains ten Latino ballplayers: pitchers Fabio Castillo (Dominican Republic), Edgar González (México), Carlos Marmol (Dominican Republic), Elvin Ramírez (Dominican Republic), Pedro Villareal (Texas); third basemen Rubén Gotay (Puerto Rico), Juan Silverio (Dominican Republic), Rey Navarro (Puerto Rico), outfielder Felix Pérez (Venezuela); and second baseman Hernán Iribarren (Cuba).

More photos of Latino Heritage Day

Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/29/14 20:03:01 -0700.




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