Gracias A Ti | Breakfast at La Casa

On Thursday, May 4th La Casa de Don Pedro hosted its first ever Gracias A Ti [Thanks to You] breakfast to show their appreciation for supporters and honor friends, supporters and staff members for their generosity and commitment to La Casa de Don Pedro’s mission. Held under a tent alongside La Casa’s 39 Broadway Center, Gracias A Ti gave guests a firsthand look and experience with La Casa’s work and community. Board President Richard W. Roper gave a welcome speech along with La Casa’s preschool students. La Casa de Don Pedro’s Executive Director Raymond Ocasio and Board Members Eltia I. Montano Galarza and Ivette Rosario spoke about La Casa’s impact and neighborhood revitalization. Staci Berger, President and CEO of the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey, and Craig Drinkard, Associate Director for Operations at the Victoria Foundation also spoke at the event. Kairo Goldsberry, Newark Prisoner Re-Entry Participant, gave a powerful testimonial speech about his experience with La Casa. The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders President Britnee N. Timberlake awarded Proclamations to each honoree for their dedication and service to La Casa de Don Pedro.

Gracias A Ti was an opportunity for supporters and friends of La Casa to get a closer look at the organization’s work and engage with the community. Staff members gave tours of La Casa’s 39 Broadway Preschool & Adult Education Center as well as the 23 Broadway Family Success Center. La Casa staff also led tours of the Lower Broadway Neighborhood, La Casa’s primary area of service, to show guests the work La Casa has done and the impact La Casa has in the community. During Gracias A Ti, La Casa made an appeal to guests to support neighborhood beautification projects like community gardens and murals that both beautify the neighborhood and build community pride. Guests also joined La Casa staff and volunteers to plant the first seeds for community gardens….. As part of the beautification appeal, La Casa also invited guests to volunteer for beautification days this summer and help build gardens and paint its Head Start Centers. For further information on volunteer opportunities, please contact

Click Here to view photos from the event.
Photos by Anthony Alvarez:


At our Gracias a Ti Breakfast on May 4th, we proudly honored La Casa staff and individual supporters whose generosity and commitment to La Casa empowers and inspires us every day.

Supporter Honorees

Annie Basile

Tony Hughes
Vice Chair, Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association

Gloria Ramos
Board Member & Secretary-at-Large

Mark Thompson
Owner, Security-On-Point, Inc.

Miriam Silver Verga


La Casa Staff Honorees

Sofi Cordero
Senior Housing Counselor

Celena Cordova
Senior Human Resources Specialist

Gloria Jerez
Early Childhood Education Center Director III

Percival MacMaster
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Coordinator

Coraly Perez
Welfare to Work Case Manager

Nila Rouiller
Youth, Family & Health Services Program Assistant


Thank you to our Gracias a Ti Sponsors!

Prudential – Premiere Diamond Sponsor

PSEG - Premiere Diamond Sponsor

JP Morgan Chase - Premiere Gold Sponsor

M&T Bank - Premiere Gold Sponsor

Rutgers University – Newark - Premiere Gold Sponsor

Valley National Bank – Premiere Gold Sponsor

McCarter & English – Bronze Sponsor

City National Bank – Unity Sponsor

East Orange Mayor Lester Taylor – Unity Sponsor

City of Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka – Unity Sponsor

Horizon NJ Health – Unity Sponsor

New Jersey Devils - Unity Sponsor

Driscoll Foods - Unity Sponsor

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin – Spring Sponsor

Housing & Community Development Network of NJ – Spring Sponsor

Security On Point, Inc. - Spring Sponsor

Pronesti Surveying - Spring Sponsor

Enid Roldan - Spring Sponsor

Thornton Agency – Spring Sponsor


Together We Rise | 45th Anniversary Celebration
La Casa de Don Pedro’s 45 year legacy in Newark is one of resilience, of creativity, and of unity of unity. We have built bridges that unite communities, empowered leaders who ignite social change and created opportunities for all to thrive. Forty five years later, we remember that together we rise.Together we triumph over adversity. And together we can build a brighter, more equitable future.



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