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Community Members, Elected Officials attend A Taste of Rio

Rio Hondo College Foundation fundraiser benefits students, programs

WHITTIER, Calif. – Dignitaries, community members and Rio Hondo College staff and faculty were on hand May 2 when the Rio Hondo College Foundation hosted A Taste of Rio, a fundraiser designed to support student scholarships and programs.

A Taste of Rio featured wine tasting and cuisine from 17 eateries that ranged from the savory, such as Clearman’s Steak ’n Stein, to the sweet, such as Simple Irresistible Cakes and Catering.

Attendees had the opportunity to donate to student scholarships and programs, and win prizes from an array of fun offerings. All proceeds from the “Fund-A-Need Drawing” are going toward scholarships for incoming freshmen and students transferring to four-year universities.

“We gather here tonight to celebrate the dedication of the faculty and staff of Rio Hondo College for playing an integral role in our students’ success, as seen in the great gains in student achievement,” said Rio Hondo College Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss.

Dreyfuss encouraged attendees to take the time to read the “Faces of Rio” display of students. Each one highlighted an exceptional student and his or her story of struggle, persistence, commitment and determination to reach the “American Dream.”

The “Faces of Rio” students have stories of immigration and assimilation; excellence in the face of adversity; overcoming tragedy; and re-entering the education system after an absence.

Some of those who attended A Taste of Rio include Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia from the 58th Assembly District; Pico Rivera Councilmember Gustavo Camacho; South El Monte Councilmember Joseph Gonzales; Bell Councilmember Ali Saleh; El Monte Treasurer Jerry Velasco; Valle Lindo School District Board President Ruth Gonzales; Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson; and Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees President Vicky Santana, members Norma Edith García, Mary Ann Pacheco, Student Trustee Caroline Carroll and Student Trustee-elect Jaime “JJ” Magallón.

A Taste of Rio is really a wonderful way for the community to stay connected to the College, and it was great to see so many people come out to support our students,” Trustee President Vicky Santana said. “I was pleased to see many leaders and members of our community care about our students and their success by contributing to this great cause.”

Major sponsors for the event include: Cognoscente level sponsor Del Terra; Connoisseur  level sponsor Southern California Edison; Aficionado level sponsors Bank of the West, Keenan & Associates, California Community Foundation, the offices of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Westberg & White Architects and Follet Higher Education Group; Appreciator level sponsors Vasquez & Co. LLP and Liebert Cassidy Whitmore; and Taster level sponsors Whittier Mailing Services, Halbert Hargrove Investment Advisors, David and Jacquelyn Brearley, and Whittier Union High School District.

The restaurants that offered up their tasty creations included: BJ’s Restaurant; California Grill; Catering by Herach and Ara; Clearman’s Steak ’n Stein; Crabby’s Seafood & More; De Luca’s Italian Restaurant; Edible Arrangements; Juan Great Fiesta; La Casita Olvera; Lucky Treats; Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Café; Polly’s Pies; Simply Irresistible Cakes and Catering; Sodexo; Setá Dine Lounge; Village Sweets; and Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria.

Photo Caption: Community members, dignitaries and Rio Hondo College faculty and staff enjoy wine tasting at the Rio Hondo College Foundation A Taste of Rio fundraiser on May 2, which helped the foundation raise money for student scholarships and programs.