On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, the Spanish-American Organization (SAO) will gather at the home of Phil (& Lisa) Barbosa at 6 p.m. for its annual effort to help seven families in need in the Old South End. The gathering of SAO members, family, and friends begins with each participant asked to bring canned goods or nonperishable food. Large boxes are prepared for each family with a holiday meal, toys for the children, and other needed items. Those are then delivered to each family by teams of “Santa's elves.” Everyone then returns for an evening of fellowship and friendship.
Also, Adelante, Inc. will throw a Family Christmas Party on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, 5 to 8 p.m. at L. Hollingsworth School, 653 Miami St., Toledo. Each family in attendance is asked to bring a covered dish to share. While Adelante has held holiday parties of one sort or another for several years, this is the first time the nonprofit group has combined its family and youth divisions.
“Hollingsworth is one of the places where we do afterschool programs, and they have generously opened their gym to us. We needed a space capable of holding more than 200 people and volunteers,” said Guiselle Mendoza, Adelante executive director.
Adelante currently serves more than 200 families across metro Toledo. The evening will begin with a family activity at each table, followed by dinner and Christmas presents for the children.
“We're really excited about it, because this is really a first for all of our new staff,” said Ms. Mendoza. “It's something we'll see if we can continue doing in years to come. It's also cost-effective because we're not having two different holiday parties and our donors and supporters only have to give once, not twice.”
The party serves as a year-end wrap-up for the non-profit organization, which also is Ms. Mendoza's first year at the helm. She stated the agency has a lot to celebrate in 2014.
“This year has been very successful overall. We had a lot of good things happen financially-- donations, fundraising, sponsorships, new grants that we haven't received before, collaborations, and partnerships,” said the Adelante director. “2015 is looking very vibrant and we'll be working very hard. I’m very grateful for the hard-working staff I have.”
Toledo’s Latino Alliance gathers Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 for its first-ever Holiday Social. Alliance members and people who belong to its partner organizations are invited to attend the event, 5:30 to 9 p.m. at El Camino Real restaurant, 2500 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo. There will be a full cash bar and $5 taco bar in the lower level of the restaurant. The event is open to the public.
“We figured we'd get together before the year ends and tell everybody what the Alliance does, come celebrate with us the year that we've had, and talk about the future of the Alliance.” said Ms. Mendoza, who also serves as that group's secretary. “That's why the alliance is there-- to bring groups together on issues and set agendas throughout Toledo, not just individually. I think we want to move away from that. When you organize people together you speak with a louder voice. We want to do that together.”
The Latino Alliance of Wood County (La Conexión) celebrated Christmas, Three Kings Day, and a variety of other special events in Bowling Green on Dec. 7th in a celebration entitled “Holidays Across the Américas.”
Nuestra Gente Community Projects, Inc., will host a holiday-themed fundraiser Feliz Navidad Dinner at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 19, at Los Dos Gallos restaurant, 5327 Dorr St., Toledo. Tickets are $20 each, available at the door, and go to benefit Nuestra Gente's mission and programs throughout Northwest Ohio, many of which focus on the general health and well-being of the Latino community. The agency has set a goal of raising $3,000 from the dinner.
La Prensa, Tony Rios, and TRE, Inc. will be hosting two more Friday night celebrations to honor La Navidad and Tejano music; they are scheduling through the holidays for Tejano Friday Nights at the elegant Pulse Ultra, 1260 W. Alexis Rd., Toledo. Doors open at 9 p.m. with a cover charge of $10. Los Hermanos Villegas (from Adrian MI) will perform Dec. 19 and La Corporación (from Lansing MI) will take the stage Dec. 26, 2014.
The University of Toledo Latino Alumni Affiliate got an early jump on the holiday celebrations with a party at the Sylvania Township home of one of its members Friday evening, Dec. 12. Members shared a covered dish dinner and brought donations of hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens for distribution to needy schoolchildren.
According to its president Chevo Torres, Toledo’s Latins United celebrated Christmas early on Dec. 13th at the club, with gifts to over 80 children.
There were numerous celebrations on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 regarding the honoring of “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” including a celebration and Mass by the diocese at St. Wendelin’s Church in Fostoria.
Mexican Mutual Society—Ohio’s oldest Mexican Social Club
The Lorain-based Mexican Mutual Society also has chosen Wednesday, Dec. 17th, 5 to 7 p.m., for its annual Christmas Buffet at the organization's clubhouse, 1820 E. 28th St. Tickets are $10 each or members can bring a side dish of the same value to share.
The Mexican Mutual Society presents Celebrity Bartender Night each Friday from 6-9 pm. On December 19th, hosts will be Lorain’s Own George Clooney, Pete García and his beautiful bride, Michele. December 26th presents Jim Palmer, retired Lorain Firefighter known as the “Hottest Guy in Town,” accompanied by the “Pole Sliders.” Come and enjoy the fun!