The sunny skies over the Mexican Mutual fundraising benefit added even more joy at an already exciting occasion: fundraising for the Lorain International Festival Spotlight.
The fundraiser was held May 7 at Mexican Mutual Society, 1820 E. 28th St. in Lorain.
Patrons were offered opportunities to win a number of prizes through raffles as well as enjoy traditional Mexican food such as tacos, burritos, rice and beans and of course, margaritas, the classic Mexican drink.
Live music was also featured at the event that included not only an indoor dining area, but also a fenced-in yard for patrons to unwind and socialize.
“We’re one of the last ethnic clubs around. Kids grow up and they move out of south Lorain,” said Bill Ortega, a 10-year member who was assisting at the event.
“I enjoy it. I want to give back to my community,” Ortega said.
Back in the kitchen, Ruben Lopez looked right at home busily preparing food with a smile on his face, chatting with folks as they stopped in for a visit.
“We promote cultural awareness and give everyone a view of Mexican ancestry and traditions,” Lopez said.
The Lorain International Festival and Bazaar is the city’s annual premier event.
While the festival celebrates various heritages, each year it spotlights one nationality. This year’s spotlight nationality is the Mexican heritage.
The festival kicks off at the end of June.
Meanwhile, the Mexican Mutual Society will continue its fundraising efforts until then, said Ortega.
Plans are in the works for an upcoming event that has yet to be announced, he added.
This year’s fundraiser was considerably smaller than in past years, according to Lopez.
Lopez prepared to serve 100 to 150 people this year whereas in the past, as many as 400 people have attended the event.
However, “COVID killed at that,” Lopez said.
Traditionally, the Mexican Mutual Society hosts a parade in addition to the fundraiser, he said.
But with the restrictions in the past two years due to the pandemic, the parade continues to be put on hold.
The group is hopeful the parade will return in the future, Lopez added.