Newark-based nonprofit, La Casa de Don Pedro, a leader in social services and community development, is hosting an interactive virtual fundraiser called La Casa en Su Casa on June 17 at 5:30 pm. Under the program theme “Silver Linings”, the evening honors the “unsung heroes” of the pandemic – including key employees for local banks, restaurants, non-profit organizations, hospitals and medical facilities.

“La Casa en Su Casa” will also feature guest speakers including Casa d’Paco owner Angel Leston and artist Marcy DePina, a spoken word performance by Shell Spin, video segments and a special wine and cheese tasting from Newark’s own Casa d ‘ Paco feature.

“Last year was like no other, but stories that show people go beyond that have shone through the darkness,” said Carrie Puglisi, director of program and fund development at La Casa de Don Pedro. “During our ‘Silver Linings’ program, we spotlight workers who have been vital to our city over the past 14 months, but who are often not recognized.”

Key employees to be honored include team members from the Valley Bank Newark branches and the restaurant staff from Newark Working Kitchens, a program that revitalized the hard-hit Newark restaurant industry to free residents who are unsafe about food Offering meals.

La Casa de Don Pedro will also honor employees of Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health’s (RWJBH) Clara Maass Medical Center, RWJBH Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and New Jersey Children’s Hospital.

Honors include key La Casa de Don Pedro contributors, with a particular focus on La Casa’s personal childcare program and community engagement efforts that have helped connect the city with vital services and support hold. Despite the overwhelming impact of the pandemic, the organization’s community engagement team continues to connect residents with critical resources, including groceries, personal protective equipment, rental aid and small business support.

Entry is free and participants can purchase bottles of Spanish wine along with Spanish cheese (free delivery for residents of the county if purchased by June 6th). The wine is curated by the renowned sommelier Hank Zona, who discusses the wine selection for the evening from Casa d’Paco’s own label. The Spanish restaurant on the Ironbound section of Newark is owned by Angel Leston, who will also speak during the virtual event.

“I am delighted to add La Casa de Don Pedro to the list of many organizations that I support and that do such important work in our communities. That they themselves chose this event to honor community members – Newark’s unsung heroes during the pandemic – speaks volumes about their role in the urban landscape, “Zona said.

He added, “Speaking of the urban landscape, I can get back to working with my friend, a prominent face in the community, Angel Leston, the owner of the acclaimed and popular Casa d’Paco. We’ll be hosting the event from his restaurant in the heart of the Ironbound, which seems appropriate for this event as Newark is a city made up of parishes and boroughs. “

“Since I was born and raised in Newark, I believe that what makes our city special is what I value most – family and community – and it shows in the diversity of our neighborhoods,” added Leston. “I am honored to host the La Casa de Don Pedro event at Casa d’Paco, which we built on family and community values ​​and where we not only bring that to Newark residents, but also to visitors Best of the city can present showcase. Not only will we share these stories, but we will also share some wine and cheese with my friend Hank Zona and all of you. “

Speakers for the event include Marcy DePina, Newark artist, DJ, executive director and producer, and poet and artist Shell Spin, who will recite an exclusive poem about life during the pandemic.

“I’m excited to be attending this event that highlights notable artists in the community like Shell Spin,” says DePina. “Poetry offers people a creative way to share their life experiences that resonate with everyone.”

To go with the wine, attendees can also purchase a handpicked range of Spanish artisanal cheeses and sausages from Aaron Kirtz of Maplewood Wheelhouse.

Confirmed sponsors as of June 1st are: Prudential Financial, Valley Bank, M&T Bank, Valley Bank, RWJBarnabas Health Clara Maass Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Thornton Agency, Capacity Benefits & Financial Services, Horizon NJHealth, McCarter & English , LLP, NeighborWorks America, Rutgers University – Newark, JW Pierson, Shoprite of Newark, Leviticus Fund, Security On Point, NJ Community Capital, Mayuri Chandra, Bill & Nancy Griffeth, Dawn Gammon, Gayle Griffin, NJ Citizen Action, Deborah Purdon, Richard Roper and Grizel Ubarry.

La Casa also welcomes additional corporate sponsors for the June event. Tickets for the virtual fundraiser are available here: www.lacasanwk.org.

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