Centro Hispano holds 26th annual gala


Photo provided to The Clarion

Sanchez scholar award winners are recognized at Central Hispano’s Gala.

Nicolas Lamorte, Editor in Chief

As the city of Madison welcomed winter’s first snow last friday night community members and leaders gathered at Monona Terrace to celebrate 26 years of work, progress and partnership with Centro Hispano.

The Gala’s theme that “Our Community Matters,” held true as it was reflected in the number and diversity of awards presented by community leaders from throughout Dane county.

After musical performances by Jc Munguia and a modern-dance routine by local troupe Elements of Justice, dozens of awards and scholarships were presented to students from many of the city’s schools, colleges and universities.
These scholars are supported in part by a scholarship initiated in 1998 by retired UW-Madison Professor Roberto G. Sánches. The Sanchez Scholar Program currently supports 16 scholars in Madison high schools and throughout Dane county.

In 2008, Sanchez started a scholarship through the Madison College Foundation which supports students in the liberal arts transfer or associate degree programs, and has helped to support 19 students in the past 7 years. In the fall of 2011 the UW-Madison setup its own Sanchez Scholars program and has since supported 6 scholars. The Madison Metropolitan School District has 6 Sanchez alumni graduates that now have four year degrees.

Notable speakers at the gala included recent recipient of the Difference Award, Dr. Everett Mitchell, who presented Sanchez Awards to UW-Madison students Ceidy Irias and Daniela Rosas Moras, both of whom have attended Madison College.

As director of community relations at the university, Everett strives to build a strong community through outreach and with the help of all many community organizations.

Many of Centro’s staff and volunteer members spoke about their experiences with Centro and within the community on projects like The Wellness Initiative, led by Karime Pérez, which is designed to bring together people from the area and educate about gardening and nutrition, taking advantage of the gardens at Centro.

According to Dr. Karen Menendez Coller, Centro’s Wellness Initiative Coordinator, Centro Hispano expects to raise $100,000 from the event through the support of donations from individuals, organizations and businesses, including American Family Insurance, Findorff and many others. These funds will help pay for the salaries of the staff of Centro Hispano.

Centro Hispano is located at 810 West Badger Road in Madison, and welcomes all community members.