By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – Music, food, games, and dancing for a good cause. What more could you want in an afternoon out?
The food, fun, and family of the third annual Hispanic Family Heritage and Scholarship Fund Festival gave locals lots to do on Saturday. A night out fundraiser, the event included vendors, bouncy castles for the youngsters, and multiple performing artists. Also, a local family was honored as the Hispanic Heritage Family of the Year.
As always, a percentage of the money from every aspect of the evening will be transferred to the Eastern Arizona College Scholarship Department and given to students over the following semester.
The local family honored as the Hispanic Heritage Family of the Year was the Pablo and Bonifacia Juarez Family. The Juarez family has resided in the Gila Valley since the 1860s and is one of the founding families in its history. Pablo worked on multiple local farms and participated in the construction of Coolidge Dam. Bonifacia was a midwife, mother, and a master gardener.
Lupe Munoz and Michael Andazola are co-organizers of the event. Andazola told Gila Valley Central that this year’s festival went extremely well.
“This year’s event went off with a bang with honoring the Juarez Family with Family of the Year,”Andazola said. “The entertainment from Mariachi Sol Azteca and Mariachi Cielo De Mexico along with La Compania de Danza Folklorica worked amazingly together. Our sponsors, vendors, corn hole and Grupo Amanecer blew the roof off the agricultural building at the fairgrounds. I would like to thank everyone from the community for coming out and supporting this event.”
To make the evening truly spectacular, the La Compania de Danza Folklorica dance troupe and the Mariachi Sol Azteca traveled from Tucson to perform at the festival. Working together, the two groups performed seamlessly with amazing dancing and on-point vocals. Also, an Eastern Arizona College dance class group performed along with the dancers of Rose Hill Wellness from Thatcher. This mesh of talented groups created a perfect combination that left the crowds wowed. After the main performances, the audience members were given the dance floor to dance and spin to the music until midnight.
Michael Burns contributed to this article