Hispanic Heritage Month events canceled; new fundraiser created

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 7:07 PM CDT
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As new COVID-19 cases continue to spread, many organizations are having to cancel events, including the East Moline Parade & Fiesta and VIVA Quad Cities. Those events would typically draw hundreds to thousands of people to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and help raise money for student scholarships.

LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, gave away $24,000 in 2019-2020 to 36 students going to college. This year, they’re worried that they may not be able to help as many students with their Fiestas being canceled. That is why they created a separate fundraising event on Sunday, August, 2nd. “It was a very difficult decision to take. And the event is the largest fundraiser for our council’s scholarship program,” said LULAC 5285′s President Juanita Zertuche.

The organization is partnering with two businesses in East Moline, Midwest Ale Works, and Jennie’s Boxcar, to help support students going into college during a tough time. ”Families have lost jobs. Income has decreased substantially. So, we are expecting that for next year,” Zertuche says. She believes they’ll get even more applications than usual.

On Sunday from 1-4 P.M., MAW will be having a beer competition between a light beer and a dark beer. The beer that wins will be sold in their business for the next three months, with $1 from each sale going towards LULAC scholarships. Jennie's Boxcar will also have a special on Sunday, with $1 from tacos and tequila shots going towards LULAC scholarships.

The community support would not only help students but local businesses as well. Co-owner of Jennie’s Boxcar, Marguerite Dasso, says she’s excited to have people coming to the Rust Belt. “I know a lot of people are scared to come out during a pandemic, there’s a huge area outside the Rust Belt. Or if you come inside to get tacos & tequila, we’re 6-feet distancing. A lot of people want to support local.” Hand sanitizing stations will also be made available.

LULAC is hoping to raise $50,000 this year with their scholarships. The applications will open in January to all students attending college, including Dreamers.

The event is this Sunday from 1-4 P.M. at the Rust Belt in East Moline.

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