Meriden Puerto Rican Festival Committee hosts Latin Gala

MERIDEN — The recent successes of the city’s Puerto Rican Festival led organizers to develop a second major event to act as a fundraiser.

This Saturday the Meriden Puerto Rican Festival Committee will host a Latin Gala at the Four Points by Sheraton on Research Parkway. In previous years, committee member Michael S. Rohde said, an organization held a similar event, but it has not been held recently.

“The Puerto Rican Festival has been a wonderful success...so we wanted to do a second event,” Rohde said. “There was a Meriden Hispanic Foundation that used to do a big dance at the Knights of Columbus, but since it stopped, nothing has been comparable. So we planned this big event with Latin flavor, so that’s why we’re doing this.”

The event will feature live music from DJ Rico, in addition to Pedro Valentin. Valentin is a longtime resident of the state and recent winner of a Paoli award. Los Premios Paoli, or The Paoli Awards, honors artists and musicians in the Latin American community each year. Committee Chairman Hector Cardona said the live music should make for an entertaining evening.

“This is just something to have a good time for a couple of hours,” Cardona said. “We want to just enjoy the night and thank the people for being at the festival and being a part of it.”

Four local people will be honored with awards being given by the committee for their community work. Among them is Beat the Street Director Larry Pelletier, Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast Chairwoman Rhudean Raye, general manager at Four Points Yvonne DeAngeli-Fontanez, and Valentin Karate owner Efrain Valentin. Each award recipient also has various other involvement in the community.

Cardona said each community activist is deserving of the award and applauded them for their involvement.

“There are a lot of people in Meriden we would like to acknowledge, but we can’t do it all in one shot,” Cardona said.

“These are people who worked hard in the community and deserve the acknowledgment to let people know they’re working hard, countless hours with the community to make it a positive community.”

The event will be held from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday. For tickets, call (203) 537-0117 or (203) 915-7846.

dbrechlin@recordjournal.com 203-317-2266 Twitter: @DanBrechlinRJ



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