Thanks to PNC Bank’s invitation, I attended the Su Casa Hispanic Center of Cincinnati’s Awards Dinner this evening at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. I like to hang out with my friends at PNC, and had also just learned that a friend of 20 years ago from when I worked in Lower Price Hill was on the staff at Su Casa.
It was a fun evening, the food better than the usual Cintas fare, got to see Margaret and meet her just graduating from high school daughter. We’ll meet up and spend some time together soon. It turned out that the invocation was given by another old friend from back in the day, Fr. Louie Gasparini, formerly pastor of the former St. Michael’s in Lower Price Hill.
And then, to top off a very good evening, the keynote speaker was Lilleana Calderon Cavanaugh, the Executive Director for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. What an incredible life story, including her start as a 15-year-old leaving her family and her village and traveling to the U. S. to high school. She has lived and worked around the world, including a stint working with Mother Theresa. And another stint as a single mom with three kids, one special needs, living here in the U. S.
Great story, well told, proving again the importance of open immigration and exchanges around the planet, which Fr. Louie had prayed about during his invocation.. Another speaker added a piece of data – the latest Census info is that the number of Hispanics in our region is now 55,000. A cause for cheering, since those numbers mean new ideas and new workers driving our region forward. Yes!