Have you ever wondered how you can have fun, enjoy amazing food and get a good workout to burn all that good food off and serve a great cause all in one night? Well, the 8th annual ROJO benefit hosted by the Cicada Restaurant in Downtown was the way to go. The event was a celebration of the contributions made for underrepresented communities in the Latino and LGBTQ communities by people who stand up for them.
Community heroes were given awards for their contributions to these groups in a beautiful ceremony. Cicada restaurant, which is an Italian fine dining establishment, hosted the event. The ambiance was amazing, as Cicada’s beautiful and dimly lit interior became the perfect backdrop for an event with a serious message but a lot of fun along the way. For the night, instead of Cicada’s normal swing music, Latin party rhythms pulsed along inside. Much of the fun came in the form of a great food tasting.
Food vendors from various locations served up their delights throughout the night. Among the great vendors were Grits LA, Cicada Restaurant, Boo Philly Cheesesteak, Sonny’s, Burrito Place, Antigua Bread, Forking Good Café, Gelateria Uli, and Gaviña Coffee! The menu was as diverse as the crowd and it was a reflection of the event’s commitment to helping diversity and unity as well.
Among the guests was Mason Funk, whose OUTWORDS website serves to document the rise of the LGBTQ community by interviewing people who made the movement from the beginning. “We mostly interview folks 70+ years old, to make sure their stories are captured and shared for years to come,” said Mason. In the coming months, OUTWORDS will hope to interview more leaders from LA’s LGBTQ community.
The director of The Wall Las Memorias project, Richard Zaldivar, said of the night that it was “like one big family coming together,” when I asked him about the event. The goal is to be inclusive and not exclusionary for this organization, where Richard said that he is expanding all the time and starting to work with Armenian and Iranian communities as well for the first time. “With our downtown office coming we plan to bring that sense of community, not just bringing services but creating a sense of community and building a togetherness and bringing that to downtown as well.”
The night also featured a raffle, where money that was raised from the tickets would be used for the benefit of the causes of the night. Not to mention the salsa dancing that erupted after the awards ceremony. Reflective of the Latin culture through and through, the event was able to really be a showcase for people to understand the purpose of the night.
This event was held at the Cicada Restaurant on Thursday, November 16th. Did you miss it? Always look at our Calendar for the latest events so that you won’t miss this and any other great events like it ever again!
Visit http://theoutwordsarchive.org/ to get more on the history of the LGBTQ movement
Visit http://www.thewalllasmemorias.org for more info on current ongoings in the LGBTQ and Latino community