Nonprofit La Casa de Don Pedro to Host Virtual Fundraiser Honoring Newark’s ‘Unsung Heroes’ of the Pandemic
Newark-based nonprofit, La Casa de Don Pedro, a leader in social services and community development efforts, is hosting an interactive virtual fundraiser, titled La Casa en Su Casa. With a program theme of “Silver Linings,” the evening will honor the “unsung heroes” of the pandemic—including essential workers for local banks, restaurants, nonprofits, 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.
“This past year has been like no other, but stories that demonstrate people going above and beyond have shined through the darkness,” said Carrie Puglisi, director of program and fund development for La Casa de Don Pedro. “During our ‘Silver Linings’ program we’ll spotlight workers who have been vital to our city these past 14 months, yet often go unrecognized.”
Essential workers to be honored include team members from Valley Bank’s Newark branches and the restaurant workers of Newark Working Kitchens, a program that has re-energized the hard-hit Newark restaurant industry to provide free meals to food insecure residents.
La Casa de Don Pedro will also honor workers from Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health (RWJBH) Clara Maass Medical Center, RWJBH Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.
Counted among those to be honored are the essential workers of La Casa de Don Pedro, with a special focus on La Casa’s in-person childcare program and its community engagement efforts that have helped keep the city connected with essential services and support. Despite the overwhelming impact of the pandemic, the organization’s community engagement team continues to connect residents to critical resources, including food, personal protective equipment, rental relief and small business support.
Attendees can purchase bottles of Spanish wine paired with Spanish cheeses (free delivery for in-county residents if purchased by June 6). The wine will be curated by renowned sommelier, Hank Zona, who will discuss the evening’s wine selection from Casa d’Paco’s own label. The Spanish restaurant, located in Newark’s Ironbound section, is owned by Angel Leston, who will also speak during the virtual event.
To pair with the wine, attendees can also purchase a hand-selected assortment of Spanish artisanal cheeses and charcuterie from Maplewood Wheelhouse’s Aaron Kirtz.
“I am excited to be able to add La Casa de Don Pedro to the list of the many organizations I support that do such important work in our communities. That they themselves have chosen this event to honor community members—Newark's unsung heroes during the pandemic—speaks volumes of their role in the city's landscape,” said Zona.
Event speakers will include Marcy DePina, Newark artist, DJ, executive director and producer, as well as poet and artist Shell Spin, who will perform an exclusive poem about life during the pandemic.
“I’m excited to be participating in this event that will highlight notable artists in the community, like Shell Spin,” says DePina. “Poetry provides a creative way for people to share their life experiences that resonates with everyone.”
La Casa also welcomes additional corporate sponsors for the June event.
Based in Newark, N.J., La Casa de Don Pedro is a comprehensive social service and community development organization with a mission to foster self-sufficiency, empowerment and neighborhood revitalization. They provide a vast range of programs and services including early childhood education, career and immigration resources, youth, family and health services, and neighborhood investment initiatives. La Casa emphasizes, celebrates and nurtures core values of advocacy, responsibility (civic, personal and fiscal), education, diversity and creativity in a culturally sensitive and caring environment. Through education and economic development strategies, neighborhood revitalization initiatives and family-stabilizing programs, La Casa works to ensure that Greater Newark’s residents engage in and benefit from the region’s growth. Follow La Casa de Don Pedro on Facebook for updates. Visit La Casa de Don Pedro’s website at: www.lacasanwk.org.