It’s that time of year for the largest Latino event in southwest Ohio: third annual Amigos Latinos Gala at Wright State, hosted by the Office of Latino Affairs.
The gala will feature a silent auction, cash bar, Puerto Rican cuisine by Antojitos, music by the Son del Caribe, dancing, community awards, scholarships and networking with students, alumni and community leaders. Up to 350 people are expected to attend this year’s gala.
The event is Friday, April 22, from 5 to 10 p.m. in the Wright State Nutter Center.
Alfred Ramirez, director of operations for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, will give the keynote address. Ramon Perez and his daughter Leslie will serenade the audience during dinner.
Money raised at the gala is designated for Latino-based scholarships at Wright State and El Puente Learning Center in Dayton, which provides a bridge for Latino youth in Dayton schools in kindergarten through eighth grade to succeed in their schoolwork.
“We’ll have a student who went through El Puente who is now a WSU student give her testimonial,” said Tony Ortiz, the associate vice president of Latino affairs. “That’s what it’s all about.”
The gala provides participants an opportunity to engage with the Latino community, Ortiz said. “If they have a potential job, internship or just want to know more about the Latino community, it’d be a good time to come … and they’d be supporting two great causes: scholarships for the Latino students and for El Puente,” he said.
Individual tickets are $75 and sponsor tables are $1,000. For every sponsor table sold, two students may attend for free.
The following award winners will be recognized at the gala:
- El Amigo del Pueblo: Bob Salinas
- La Amiga Querida: Mary Jean Henry, Erendira Lopez-Garcia and Meltem Kokaly
- El Amigo Querido: Matt Boaz
- El Jefe: Luis Miranda
- La Jefa: Joanna Fadel
- Special Consideration: Jim Brown and the Nutter Center
- Special Consideration: Susan Lightle and the Master of Accountancy program projects
- Melissa Ortiz-Bebbington Scholarship: Luis Miranda
The Office of Latino Affairs is committed to fostering a supportive environment that enhances the success of Latino students, the Latino community and the economic development of the region. The office seeks to recruit, retain, graduate, connect and advance Latino students at Wright State.