The internationally-acclaimed Latino entertainment group, Los Mora Arriaga, of Miami will perform at the debut of the Chicano Alumni Scholarship Banquet, “Noche Habanera,” on Friday, April 22, at California State University, Fresno.
The evening of dinner, mojitos and music in the spirit of old Havana will be held in the Satellite Student Union beginning at 6 p.m.
Proceeds will benefit the Chicano Alumni Scholarship and the establishment of an endowment fund to assist Fresno State Chicano students in continuing and completing their education.
The Chicano Alumni Scholarship will recognize students who have excelled academically while making a difference in their community, said Manuel Olgin, president of the Chicano Alumni, a chapter of the Fresno State Alumni Association.
While it will primarily be a community service-based scholarship award, financial need will also be considered for deserving students, he said.
“With the rising cost of education, it has become more critical to raise funds that support educational opportunities for our students,” said Olgin.
“We are all aware of the challenges of escalating costs to higher education brought forth by the current budget crisis in the state of California. The dream of providing a college education for our children and loved ones becomes elusive as family resources are strained to the point of actually eliminating or postponing education now, and in the immediate future.”
Olg in said the banquet will be an annual affair that will be the chapter’s “signature event.” The appearance of Los Mora Arriaga will help establish the benefit as a major event in the community, he said, with the intent to bring in a major entertainment act every year.
“Los Mora Arriaga will capture the rhythm of the night with its interpretation of a wide variety of lively Latino music ranging from salsa and cumbia to traditional Mexican hits,” Olgin said.
The ensemble consists of eight brothers and sisters direct from Miami, Florida but who are originally from Monterrey, Mexico. Each talented member plays six to nine instruments and sings in more than 10 languages.
Los Mora Arriaga has appeared in movies, commercials and magazines and performed on television networks including MTV, Univision, PBS, and the Disney Channel.
The group has played for various special events such as the Miss Universe Pageant three times, the Ice Capades, a visit of the late Pope John Paul II and for numerous government events, most notably the inauguration of former President George H. Bush.
Major sponsors of the Noche Habanera banquet are Countrywide Home Loans and California State University, Fresno Office of the President.
A 6 p.m. social hour and silent auction will be followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and entertainment at 8 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Frances Pena-Olgin at (559) 278-2048.
BACKGROUND — Chicano Alumni Chapter of Fresno State
Since its launch in 1976, the Chicano Alumni has played a vital role in representing the interests of Chicano alumni of California State University, Fresno. The association is the primary vehicle for continued service and access to the university after graduation. In addition, the Chicano Alumni raises funds for scholarships and coordinates events to benefit students, valley businesses and the community at large. The organization founded the Chicano Commencement Celebration in 1976 that has grown to become the Latino Commencement Celebration, now hosted by the College of Social Sciences and held in the Save Mart Center. See the chapter web site at http://www.chicanoalumni.com/ for recently elected officers and other information.
Copy prepared by University Communications student-intern Jennifer Stapp