Dillon Rawlings, Reporting for BenitoLink
Members and friends of the Latino Generations Committee filled a local restaurant, enjoying a bite to eat and used it as an opportunity to request a simple donation to help build their fund. On Tuesday night, May 3, La Catrina Mexican Grill in downtown Hollister also contributed by opening its doors to the supporters of the committee, which was hosting its annual fundraiser as a part of the Silicon Valley Gives campaign for area nonprofits.
The Latino Generation Fund — which is part of an endowment fund allocated by the Community Foundation for San Benito County — is dedicated to investing in the leadership, education, and culture of San Benito County’s Latino community.
The evening presented a lively scene: guests gathered around festively-decorated tables, enjoying plates of complimentary botanas while listening to a live musician. At leisure, those inclined to give to the cause, filtered back to a donations table stationed at the rear of the restaurant. The atmosphere of the restaurant was celebratory; members of the LGC were able to raise nearly $3,000 in donations from the evening. The donations are to be matched by a private donor in the interest of providing college scholarships to Latino students in the county. Diane Ortiz, a committee member who has been with the LGC since its inception in 2013, addressed the crowd to speak about the group’s accomplishments:
“This community has been so generous, and when they see a need, they respond. We’re specifically addressing the needs of the Latino community with these donations to help correct an imbalance — only 4 percent of philanthropic dollars are donated to Latino-centered or Latino-led groups and organizations, which is completely inequitable.”
Looking to the future, Ortiz said, ”We aim to be a strong advocate for Latino involvement in the county, in schools, in politics. And when we raise up the people that have these needs for more representation, it impacts us all.”
In the fall of 2015, a private donor approached the LGC, seeking to award a scholarship to San Benito County High School seniors and community college transfer students in May 2016. At the event, the members of the committee announced that after much deliberation they had selected the scholarship recipients and will be hosting another event in the coming weeks to announce them.