Proceeds went to the “Si Se Puede” scholarship fund, a Legacy Endowment Foundation which supports Latino students in West Michigan schools who demonstrate the ideals espoused by Cėsar E. Chávez including leadership, environmentalism, social justice, and community service.
In the main hall, a decadent podium was centered in front of a stained-glass window, surrounded by tables adorned with the authentic Mexican table runners, serapes. The hosts, ushers, and fashion models were adorned with vibrant clothes representative of different regions of Mexico.
Live Mariachi singer, Alfonso Mier, walked among the guests during networking before both national anthems for Mexico and the United States commenced the ceremonies.
Speakers including Lupe Ramos-Montigny, State Board of Education, Dale Robertson, President & CEO of Grand Rapids Public Museum, and a high school youth emphasized the importance of celebrating Mexican culture and understanding the true history of this date for Puebla, Mexico.
The dancing group Grupo Folklórico from the Cook Arts Center danced to the La Angaripola and Las Mujeres Que Se Pintan. Donations from Tamale Mary, Tacos El Cuñado , Lindo Mexico, and a painting from Erick Picardo were big hits as the raffle prizes.
The honorees of the celebration addressed the audience upon receiving recognition for their tireless work. Local leaders who were honored are: Dr. Rhae-Ann Booker, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Davenport University; Guillermo Cisneros Executive Director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and John Helmholdt, Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs for the Grand Rapids Public Schools.
The Cinco de Mayo Celebration is a community treasure which continues to shine every year. Stay updated with the Committee to Honor Cėsar E. Chávez events on their Facebook.
Written by Gillian Giem, USGBC-WM