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Entre Amigos: SQACC Fundraiser event hailed A success


By La Prensa Staff


The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC) hosted its 12th annual fundraising dinner Friday, April 12, 2019 to a packed house. The 12th annual Entre Amigos event brought a chance to show off not just the center itself, but Nana’s Gardens outside served as the backdrop for much of the evening’s art, music, and activities.


A staff of volunteer “Mosos Famosos” (celebrity waiters) served a family-style dinner of meat, shrimp, and vegetable fajitas to a crowd hungry to help the art and cultural center raise money to fund its programming. The meal also included rice and beans, along with a dessert of vanilla ice cream with blueberries and a cookie. 130 people bought tickets to the event, including families.


"We were really happy with the turnout," said Taylor Balderas-Burciaga, SQACC executive director. "We made some major changes. We did more of a family-style seating and serving of the food. It was more about passing and sharing of the food and that went over really well."


Many of the volunteer servers came from groups this year, because Waite High School students happened to be on spring break and many were unavailable. But a focus was still on youth, as many members of the FLOC Homies Union helped to serve the family-style meal.


The fundraising dinner helps support the center’s mission of celebrating and educating others on Latino culture through programs such as art classes, cultural cooking classes, health and community education, community gardens and beautification.


“We do a program where I give an overview of our programs at the center,” she said. “The last couple of years, we give tours during the event and that's been really successful. We always tell people that it's easier to show people what we do than tell them. So a couple of staff and I went around and gave tours. That really goes into depth—about the gardens, the art galleries, and the events center. So that was really good to get that one-on-one time.”


A tent leading to the community gardens showcases artwork for an upcoming exhibition and items from the SQUACC store. Ms. Balderas-Burciaga pointed out that every program is represented in the tent display, allowing dinner-goers to ask questions about the center. That is just as important, because the event serves as much as a "friend-raiser" as it does fundraiser.


“That's huge. That's the whole other half of why we do this event is to get those relationships going—whether it's possible partnerships, possible donors, even possible attendees for our programs” she said. “That's why I really like to walk around and talk to people. You can really figure out one-on-one what interests them. That's really an important perspective why we try to bring all the programs into this event, so we can see where their enjoyment is and talk with them from there. Donors don't start as donors, they responders to relationships.”


Ms. Balderas-Burciaga thanked staff, sponsors, and volunteers alike for making the evening happen. Presenting sponsors included Key Bank, Tireman, and First Federal Bank.




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Revised: 04/16/19 20:51:32 -0700.




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