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New Events, Old Traditions mark Hispanic Heritage Month in NW Ohio

By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent,

Part one in a series of three [Next week, NE Ohio]


The annual observance of Hispanic Heritage Month in the Toledo metro area will see some new events and old traditions during the months of September and October. Chances are good Latino families and individuals will find a chance to the start the celebration early and extend it all the way to Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Festivities on Nov. 2, 2018.


The month gets off to an early start with Latino Comedy Night at the the Toledo Funny Bone on Thursday, September 6, 6 p.m. Featured performers will include a young, up-and-coming comic Rikki of Toledo and headliner Ramon Rivas II of Cleveland. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online through EventBrite or Facebook.


For the first time, Hispanic Heritage Month will kick off with Grito Fest 2018, a street festival to be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, 4 to 11 p.m., at the Latinos United Hall, 706 S. St. Clair St.


There will be live music, food, raffles, contests, a kid’s area, vendors, and dancing—all for an admission price of $5, which also includes access to inflatables. Music groups scheduled to perform include Latino Norteno and Los Aztecas, D.J. Duran and D.J. Nando. More information can be obtained by calling Elaina Hernandez at 419.283.1628.


El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico also is putting together both the comedy night and festival as a fundraiser to help the dance troupe fund a trip and performance to Disney World in early 2019. The troupe so far has raised $13,000 toward the estimated $22,000 cost of the trip.


The 29th annual Diamante Awards will be held on Thursday, Sept. 20, 6 p.m. at the Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd. in Perrysburg Twp. Student admission to the event is $25, while general admission tickets cost $75. Ticket sales, however, end Sept. 14 online through EventBrite.


The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements and service to Latinos, while raising scholarship funds for Latino students pursuing a college degree. This year’s Diamante Award recipients were nominated by the public and selected by the Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio Diamante planning committee.


This year’s award recipients include Tonya Duran, long-time coach and executive director of The Believe Center; Dr. Michele Soliz, assistant vice president for student success and inclusion at the University of Toledo; and Tireman Auto Service Centers, corporate awardee.


The Spanish American Organization (SAO) will host its annual scholarship dinner fundraiser on Sunday, October 14, 1 to 5 p.m., at Latins United. There will be a Mexican-themed dinner, silent auction, and a D.J. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling SAO treasurer Carmen Barbosa at 419.290.3082.


Lourdes University will host a special performance by El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico on Thursday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m., at the Franciscan Center, 6832 Convent Blvd. in Sylvania. The dance troupe will give a free public performance with a goodwill offering. There is a 6 p.m. reception prior to the performance.


The Ohio Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs (OCHLA) will host its annual Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan awards gala outside Columbus for the first time this year. The dinner and awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Lorain Community College.


The DHO gala honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their professional or community service endeavors, and who serve as role models for the growing Hispanic community in Ohio. Tickets can be purchased by calling OCHLA at 614.728.8344.


The 2018 DHO Individual Award will be given to Theresa Morris, a longtime aide to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Ms. Morris has a long history of civic and volunteer contributions, but she has the distinction of being the longest-serving Latina congressional assistant in Ohio history—and according to OCHLA research of available records, the longest-serving Latina in that role in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives.


After receiving a Diamante award herself, Michele Soliz will get to watch her father receive this year’s DHO Latino Military Service of Distinction Award. This year’s award goes to former Marine and Vietnam veteran Juan Antonio Soliz of Defiance.


As a volunteer enlistee, Soliz received the Combat Marksman Badge for service in an unsecured location in Vietnam and he was later awarded the distinguished Purple Heart for events while under enemy fire. In civilian life, Soliz serves as a community advocate for veterans. He belongs to a number of veterans groups, including AMVETS, the Defiance chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Marine Corps League, which he spearheaded their charter in 1991.

The DHO Nuestra Familia Award will be given that evening to the University of Toledo and is president, Dr. Sharon Gaber. The award is being given in recognition of the university’s renewed commitment to helping advance Hispanic Ohioans as they pursue higher education and meaningful careers. Working alongside a Latino UT alumni affiliate, the Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio, and the Latino Student Union, the university has committed time, finances, and resources to help students succeed since Dr. Gaber’s arrival.


The University of Toledo will begin its month-long observance with a Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Lunch on Monday, Sept. 17, noon to 2 p.m. in the student union, room 2584. UT’s Office of Multicultural Student Success will offer a free taco bar from La Michoacana and give an opportunity to learn more about student organizations and UT departments.


Other events will include a Ted Talk on Latin Initiatives, including a panel discussion on assumptions associated with Latin identities on Thursday, Sept. 27, 5 p.m. in the student union. There will be a Latino business owners panel on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m., at the Scott Park campus, organized in conjunction with the UT Minority Business Assistance Center.

UT Latino alumni are invited to attend a homecoming tailgate party on Saturday, Oct. 6, starting at 10 a.m. in Lot 10. Those attending are asked to bring a covered dish for the event preceding the game against Bowling Green State University.

There also will be an immigration documentary screening and panel discussion Monday, Oct. 8, 6 to 8 p.m., in the Carlson Library. Crossing Arizona is a film highlighting the issues of undocumented immigration and border security on the U.S./Mexico border. The National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Toledo will host its 4th annual Latino Mental Health Forum in the UT student auditorium on Friday, Oct. 12, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sessions will focus on the impact of trauma, working with families, and the substance abuse epidemic.

HHM wraps up on campus in a big way with a film screening on Monday, Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., in University Hall. Frida will be shown, a biographical drama directed by Julie Taymor depicting the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. 

A complete schedule of UT Hispanic Heritage Month events can be found here: http://www.utoledo.edu/studentaffairs/omss/history_and_heritage/


The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is collaborating with several local Latino nonprofits to provide Hispanic Heritage Month programming and events at many of its branches throughout September and October.


The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC) will offer library sessions on Mexican Alebrije Painting on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Oct. 16. Participants can learn the history and technique of Alebrije painting and have the opportunity to paint a small whimsical creature in the style of the traditional Mexican Alebrijes.


SQACC also will host demonstration sessions on Thursdays and Saturdays at various library branches on how to make a traditional Latino quesadilla using ingredients not normally found in a traditional quesadilla. Those sessions will run through November 1.


Patrons at all library branches can participate in a special Explore Latin Countries Quiz for a chance to win prizes during Hispanic Heritage Month. Patrons can test their knowledge about Latin countries to earn a chance to win the grand prize of a one-year family membership to the Toledo Zoo. A complete schedule of times and locations for all events and demonstrations can be found at the library website www.toledolibrary.org.


Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/06/18 20:27:40 -0700.




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