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Cleveland organizations celebrate, fundraise, and prepare for New Year

By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

Dec. 3, 2010: Celebrating 21 years of sobriety in Cleveland, Hispanic Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program honored its partnering sponsors, friends, and clients for making a difference in the daily lives of thousands.

UMADAOP celebrates 21 years of sobriety.

Cleveland’s Hispanic UMADAOP is the only bicultural nonprofit agency that provides holistic prevention, culturally sensitive intervention to reduce impacts of substance abuse and HIV.  

More than 250 guests attended the gala held at Marriott West, honoring the organization’s success.

Client Aida Colón expressed her gratitude for the services, saying they made a difference because they understood the culture and made her comfortable. For Harry Quiñonez, the U.S.-American Dream was gaining sobriety; and he moved from Puerto Rico to Cleveland in search of that dream.  He said he was a destroyed man when the organization renewed him and it helped that he could: “Speak my language and eat my Puerto Rican food.”

Keynote speaker William M. Denihan, CEO of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board in Cuyahoga County, said the organization is successful because its approach focuses on the person rather than symptoms. Denihan announced he too is a recovering alcoholic, something he had hesitated sharing publicly before.

Dr. Juan Sanabría

“Treatments works,” said Denihan and that should be priority over incarceration because it is cost efficient as well as effective.

Luis Gómez, UMADAOP board president, said the organization has made great strides in improving services and meeting the needs of the community. He announced after 15 years with the organization he is retiring from the board and is confident it will continue to live up to its mission and legacy.

The gala ended with a lively concert and dancing with Tony Vega and Sammy De León.

NSHMBA Annual Celebration
Dec. 6, 2010: National Society of Hispanic MBAs hosted its third annual end of the year celebration at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, marking a successful year. The Cleveland chapter took the opportunity to recognize scholarship recipients and local sponsors that continue to foster partnerships, strengthening the organizations. Incoming Chapter President, Carolina Schneider announced the chapter will be hosting NSHMBA Hispanic Summit in May 2011.

NSHMBA hosts annual convention.

Yary Cora
, VP  of Marketing & Public Affairs, said the Summit would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase Cleveland and its potential to a national business community.

Schneider said despite the economy the organization has been able to provide a half-million dollars in scholarships to Latino students pursuing an MBA at Cleveland State University or Case Western Reserve.

Keynote speaker Dr. Juan Sanabría, MD at UHCMD, shared the importance of diversity and cultural competency among medical professionals.  He said he and the hospital are committed to diversity and providing Spanish-oriented services and programs but it is crucial the community respond and part take in these efforts so they can flourish.

Dr. Sanabría is a native of Bogota, Columbia and obtained his Masters in Surgical Science at the University in Toronto.

For more information on the 2011 NASHBA Hispanic Summit visit: http://www.nshmba.org/HispanicSummit



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