As everyone tries to return to some sense of normalcy following
a year of preventive COVID-19 protocols, a pair of Latino
nonprofit organizations are returning to in-person
dinners to raise funds to continue their work to benefit others.
The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC), 1225 Broadway, will host
its 14th annual Entre Amigos Friday evening,
April 30, 2021. This year’s dinner is a “hybrid” event,
with a choice by participants to dine in person starting at 6
p.m. or pick up dinners curbside 5 to 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices
are the same for either option: $25 single, $50 couple, or $80
for a family of four.
“Last year was strictly online using videos in a virtual
format,” said Taylor Balderas Burciaga, SQACC executive
director. “We just want to make sure people are comfortable
either way as vaccines have been distributed. We’re seeing (art
and cooking) classes with participants starting to grow and
rental inquiries are starting to come in. So we know the
community is starting to get antsy and wanting to do something
in person. But there is still a population that would rather
stay at home if they have the option. Either way, they get the
exact same meal.”
Guests will enjoy a choice of, steak, shrimp or vegetarian
fajitas with rice, black beans, Mexican corn salad, and a
Spanish influenced Leche Frita for dessert. Each guest will
also enjoy painting a terra cotta flowerpot art kit to spruce up
their windowsills and get a jump on that spring garden.
Guests who dine in will have the opportunity to participate in
an art class with SQACC's art coordinator at the José
Martínez Galería across the street. Those who choose
curbside pickup will get to take the art kit with them to do at
home. The art class mirrors the popularity of “wine and paint
night” classes held elsewhere.
“Normally we have an outdoor art exhibition, but we have
something more hands-on, so they’ll actually be participating in
the art instead of viewing it,” said Ms. Burciaga. “If they pick
up curbside, the art will be take home with all the pieces and
There will also be a cash bar, raffle prizes, an online silent
auction, and an opportunity to shop at SQACC’S tiendita.
Performers from the Toledo Opera will sing selections
from a Spanish opera as pre-dinner entertainment. An in-person
Toledo Opera event had to be canceled due to COVID.
Raffle tickets are $20 each. The top prize is an overnight stay
at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, a
champagne basket, and a gift certificate to Benchmark
is one of the SQACC’s two biggest fundraisers during the year to
fund general operations, such as staff and the costs of keeping
its buildings open.
“These are crucially important because we get funding for
programming, but without staffing and other fixed costs, we
can’t do programming,” explained Ms. Burciaga. “This is huge.
We’ve had to let people go because of COVID. There’s been a
decrease in hours we’re trying to bounce back from. This is
really important just to make sure SQACC’s doors stay open.”
Dinner tickets can be ordered by visiting the nonprofit’s
The Spanish American Organization (SAO) also is hosting its
spring dinner fundraiser on Wednesday, May 19, to raise funding
for scholarships to be awarded this summer. Hola Primavera! will
be held 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Frontera Sabores de Mexico, 5375
Airport Highway in South Toledo.
The cost is $25 for a chicken or beef fajita dinner. There are
two options available because of the pandemic. Patrons are
invited to eat in-person, as long as they wear a mask and
practice social distancing. However, takeout orders also can be
There will be a silent auction and 50-50 raffles during the
event. Presale tickets are available by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org. 50-50 raffle tickets are
available through SAO officers Carmen Barbosa, Mary Morales,
Diana Martinez and Phil Barbosa.