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High-profile Hispanic gala abruptly rescheduled

by Stephen Dark
Posted // 2012-11-09 -

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.


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