La Casa’s Virtual Fundraiser Sheds Light on Pandemic’s Silver Linings

(June 23, 2021) With the pandemic still looming, restrictions in place for in-person events, yet a key priority to bring La Casa de Don Pedro’s philanthropic community together for its annual La Casa en su Casa fundraiser, La Casa turned to a virtual format to host this fan favorite event. La Casa en su Casa “Silver Linings premiered on Facebook and YouTube Live on Thursday, June 17th at 5:30pm.

 “Silver Linings” was a fitting theme. The program shed light on the silver linings that have emerged throughout the past 15 months. Despite the tragedy of Covid-19, the pandemic has also brought out the good in so many people, particularly in the great City of Newark, where essential workers, small businesses, large corporations, and city leaders alike answered the call of duty to serve those in need. These “silver linings” show the depth of humanity and remind us what we can achieve together.

La Casa en su Casa “Silver Linings” features guest speakers Mayor Ras J.Baraka, Board President Arcelio Aponte and Executive Director Raymond Ocasio, handcrafted video segments, a virtual wine and cheese tasting with Casa d’Paco and The Maplewood Wheelhouse, and an exclusive spoken word performance by Shell Spin.

La Casa en su Casa begins with hosts Hank Zona (Wine Sommelier of The Grapes Unwrapped), Angel Leston (Owner of Casa d’Paco), Marcy DePina (Executive Director of the Newark Riverfront Revival), and Carrie Puglisi (Director of Program and Fund Development at La Casa) enjoying Spanish wine and cheese at Casa d’Paco, a Spanish restaurant in Newark’s Ironbound section. The hosts introduce viewers to the wine and cheese (which viewers could pre-order) and walk us through the evening’s segments.

The event honors the essential workers of RWJBarnabas Health Clara Maass Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, the restaurant workers of Audible’s Newark Working Kitchens, and the essential workers of Valley Bank. It also recognizes La Casa de Don Pedro’s essential program staff: Jessica Viera and the In-Person Study Hall Child Care Team and Dante Lara and the Community Engagement Team.

The honoree videos demonstrate just how different life was during the pandemic and how critical the role was for Newark’s essential workers in getting through the difficulties. Two La Casa documentaries tell the story of La Casa de Don Pedro’s work providing child care support and business relief for families and small businesses impacted by Covid-19.  “I decided to send my children to La Casa’s study hall program because I can count on La Casa having staff who are well trained and prepared for both students and parents”, says Noelia Trinidad about her experience with La Casa’s in-person Study Hall program which opened up during the pandemic as a way to provide a safe space for children to attend virtual schooling while parents went back to work. Pedro Montesino, owner of JC Barbershop, added “It’s important that institutions like yours [La Casa de Don Pedro] are in the area, helping small businesses like ours redevelop and recover.” With a multitude of speakers and inspirational stories sure to uplift, this year’s virtual gala is guaranteed to lift your spirits and help audiences look on the ‘bright side’ of this pandemic.

If you haven’t watched it yet or want to watch it again, press ‘Play’ below!

Looking to donate? Text ‘Donate’ to 973-755-1812 or visit link below!

Check out this year’s journal as well!

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