PORTAGE | The Porter County Hispanic Assembly will sponsor its annual spring event on Thursday, May 23 at Woodland Park, 2100 Willowcreek Road.
This year’s Latin Extravaganza, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature a silent auction. A variety of donated items will be available ranging from jewelry gift cards, martial art lessons, gift certificates to local restaurants and a selection of gift baskets.
"The interest in our event has grown. We are very thankful for the generous support of our sponsors," said Victoria Salinas Gresham, founder and president of the Porter County Hispanic Assembly.
The assembly joined efforts with the Miss Indiana Latina pageant early this year as Gresham discovered a lack of representation from the local area.
"We noticed that Porter County had very few contestants in the state pageant and the opportunity was slipping by," said Gresham.
The public can meet the reigning 2012 pageant queens along with the 2013 pageant contestants at the event.
The Latin Extravaganza serves to help raise scholarship funds for college bound traditional and non-traditional students. It is a venue for Hispanic business owners to promote their products and allows other nonprofit organizations to showcase their services.
This year, the group will focus on health awareness programs. Several health groups, including North Shore Health Centers and the Portage YMCA will be available to discuss programs. Free blood pressure screenings will be available.
The Latin Extravaganza will provide a variety of entertainment including performances by the Ballet Folklorico Gloria Dei dance troupe and Freddy Requena, owner of Southlake Martial Arts.
Since the founding of the organization in 2012, Gresham said they have nearly doubled in numbers of its vendor and sponsorship participation.
"We promote higher education and business entrepreneurship. The event is a great combination for the Latino community, said Gresham, adding the group launched an online directory on their website due to popular demand.
Gresham said the event allows residents to attend and experience the Hispanic culture by offering traditional Spanish, Mexican and Puerto Rican foods, music and talents.
Admission is free.
The Porter County Hispanic Assembly meets monthly at the Portage Public Library. Next meeting is Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. For more details, contact the group at Info@PorterCountyHispanicAssembly.org.