Just two weeks before one of the most high-profile events in the Utah Hispanic community calender was set to take place, the Somos Foundation gala was canceled in favor of a February 2013 date.
Somos—which means "we are"—was set up in 2002 to provide scholarships for young Hispanics to attend college. It was a cause that drew substantial support not only from the Hispanic community but also Anglo businesses. In 2008 alone, Somos raised $250,000 for scholarships.
Each November, the great and the good in the Hispanic community gather for a black-tie bash at the Grand America hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. In 2011, some questioned why so much money should be spent on putting on a lavish event when those same funds could go to scholarships. Then attorney-general candidate Sean Reyes was one of the keynote speakers in November 2011 and in his speech rejected such criticism as ill-founded.
But on Nov. 2 this year, the Foundation Board abruptly announced that the gala on Nov. 16 was being pulled in favor of a February date. A call to board vice chair Angel Chaparro seeking comment was not returned.
Note: Stephen Dark's wife, Patricia, was director of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for several years, during which time she was involved in the foundation's development.