People in the Quad Cities celebrate Cinco de Mayo while raising

By: Junko Oneal
May 6, 2017
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QUAD CITIES - Tacos, margaritas and Mexican music were flowing in various Cinco de mayo celebrations, but all for a good cause. 

"It was the biggest party in the quad cities, maybe even in Iowa and we thought lets start doing something different lets adding things, so we added a race," says Puente. 

Patrick Puente is the owner of Ganzo's Mexican Restaurant. 

He says that after years of hosting the biggest Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in the Quad Cities, they decided to add a 5k benefiting a local charity. 

"Basically for my nephew. He lives out of town but in support of him, he has autism," says Puente.  

Puente says that for the last four years all the proceeds of the race have gone to the Autism Society of the Quad Cities which helps people pay for things like  prescriptions, speech therapy, and recreational activities. 

"The celebration has been going on here for years, so anytime they bring in an added cause or an added event, I think it's good to kind of tie it together," says Mike Milas.  

In East Moline, family members and the Glenview Middle School community gathered to eat tacos and raise money for the youth Mariachi Band, since they are a non-funded group.  

"We kind of tied our program into Cinco de mayo. It gives the students an opportunity to feature themselves playing and at the same time we're raising funds for our program," says Rich Clark. 

Music teacher and Mariachi Band director Rich Clark says this program is important for the school  because one third of their students are of Latino decent. 

Being part of this band helps them stay in touch with their culture.  

He says they began three years ago with just thirteen students and now they have about fifty-five. 

"Tonights is meant to be a celebration," says Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. 

Tacos and margaritas were also flowing at the Rock Island County Democrats' Hispanic Caucus' Cinco de Mayo dinner.  

Organizers say this is a fun way to unite the community and show them that they are welcomed. 

"We've got a proud Hispanic tradition in the Quad Cities and as you'll see, the people who come here tonight and our party stands for diversity. We are a party that's a big tent where we welcome people in celebrate the diversity of our country," says Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.  


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