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Vision Unida to hold fifth annual gala 

Leadership program for underserved students will benefit from the festive event

click to enlarge JOYFUL DANCE :  Folklorico Herencia Mexicana ensemble and a full night of great live music will help this year’s Vision Unidas gala live up to its tradition as one of the most popular events of the year. - PHOTO COURTESY VISION UNIDA
  • PHOTO COURTESY VISION UNIDA
  • JOYFUL DANCE : Folklorico Herencia Mexicana ensemble and a full night of great live music will help this year’s Vision Unidas gala live up to its tradition as one of the most popular events of the year.

For more than a decade, Vision Unida has graduated many students who have gone on to participate in local civic affairs. The success of the organization has been made possible by grants, donations, and an annual gala to benefit the Latino leadership program.  The fifth such gala will be held on June 13 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Luis Obispo.

“This is our only fundraising event of the year.” Vision Unida Program Coordinator Linda Villanueva-Quesenberry said. “It’s very exciting because we are going to have kids and adults perform dances, we’ll have great mariachi music and there is going to be an auction.”

These events have been so successful in the past, said Villanueva-Quesenberry, that they have raised enough funds for Vision Unida to provide its services without charge to children and many adults. “Some of our youths who have participated in the programs are going to speak and we will be giving out twelve $500 scholarships,” she said.

Vision Unida’s Leadership Program, the Community Building Institute (CBI), and the Vision Unida Youth Leadership Program all benefit. All are 13-week programs that help students develop leadership and management skills to address community issues. The programs engage local leaders who volunteer to educate and encourage underrepresented groups to become more involved in community work. There are plans to start a new youth program in Paso Robles.
 
Most students come from underrepresented groups that would lack a support network without such leadership programs, Villanueva-Quesenberry said. She herself is a Vision Unida alumna.

 “The network that has evolved because of this is incredible,” Villanueva-Quesenberry emphasized. “The gala is a great place for people to meet and network with the Latino community leaders.”

The lineup for the night will consist of Mexican folklorico ensemble Herencia Mexicana and Pasos Del Camino Real from San Miguel and Paso Robles respectively, Latino mixes by DJ Mario Estrada, mariachi singer Matilde Sanchez “La Guarecita” and dance performances by Oxana Moscoso, Maria Elena, and Alponso Sandoval.

The formal event takes place on Saturday, June 13 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $60 each and $100 for couples, which includes dinner.

Tickets can be purchased by phone by contacting Magda Williams at 801-5254. For more information e-mail vespecial@aol.com.

Fast facts

Don’t miss the SLO Wine and Grill Affair on June 6 from noon-4 p.m. at Per Bacco Cellars on Calle Joaquin in San Luis Obispo. Per Bacco Cellars, Edna Valley Vineyard, Baileyana and Tangent, Salisbury Vineyards, Sextant Wines, Claiborne & Churchill, Wood Winery, Filipponi Ranch Cellars, and Pozo Valley will create delectable bites of signature grilled dishes paired with their wines. Tickets are $30. Proceeds benefit Transitions-Mental Health Association. Calendar Editor Christy Heron is a judge! Info: 541-5144, Ext. 174.

The Afternoon of Epicurean Delights at Chapman House takes place on June 7 from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the serene and picturesque Chapman House by the Sea in Shell Beach. This event invites guests to taste a variety of delicious foods, wines. and other beverages while strolling through the beautiful gardens and enjoying the panoramic views. Enjoy the music of Shane Stoneman, Jody Mulgrew, Guy Budd and the Soul Gypsies, Louie Ortega and others. Bid on silent auction items featuring local art, handcrafted jewelry, premium and reserve wines, and much more. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at The Crushed Grape in San Luis Obispo, Hauser Brothers Goldsmiths in Cambria, Old Vienna in Shell Beach, and the Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo chambers of commerce. Info and tickets: 544-2498 …
 
Hop aboard The Norwegian Star for the Central Coast Natural History Association’s Inaugural Cruise. The six-day cruise, from Sept. 19-26, will tour the West Coast from Vancouver, British Columbia, south to Los Angeles and will help fund science and nature education for California State Parks. Seafarers will be treated to behind-the-scenes tours of such notable museums and aquariums as the Vancouver Aquarium and the Marine Mammal Museum in San Francisco. The cruise will also feature lectures and films on Northwest flora and fauna, Native American cultures, and early European exploration of the West Coast. Jim Covell, president of the National Association for Interpretation and 20-year veteran of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, will be the keynote speaker. Tickets are $1599 per person, which includes airfare to Vancouver, six nights aboard the ship, and shore excursions, including fees and meals. For more information, call Mary Golden at 528-1397, ext. 23.

Interns Omar Sanchez and Matt Fountain contributed Strokes&Plugs this week. Send your business and nonprofit news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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