Many people are familiar with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) organization and what they stand for. Even though LULAC is the oldest and largest Hispanic organization in the United States every year there are new councils formed all over the country. LULAC Moline opened its doors three years ago and yet not many people know about it.
Juanita Zertuche and her husband are members of LULAC (Moline) Council 5285. They joined it three years ago right when it was just chartered.
“We were a small council with a great desire to grow and follow the legacy that LULAC Council 10 in Davenport has built,” Zertuche shared her memories from three years ago.
Now with a new leadership this year LULAC Council 5285 is on the road towards bigger goals. Cindy Ramos is the new president of LULAC in Moline, while Emmanuel Juarez is Vice President, Gabriela Hurtado is the secretary, Heather Ramos is the treasurer and Juanita Zertuche is the Education Chair. This new group is full of new blood mixed with experienced members. These new leaders are full of ideas and dreams to grow LULAC Council 5285 and with time they plan to raise funds to award scholarships to area students to attend college.
“We want to create partnerships with our local schools, colleges and universities to increase enrollment of Hispanic students and retention,” Juanita Zertuche explained their goal.
In fact, this past weekend at the LULAC National Convention LULAC Moline received a $20,000 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education Grant to lead an education program to help increase student graduation. Margarita Mojica a LULAC Moline member is the grant coordinator and cofounder of One by One, a program that encourages students to graduate high school and go to college. The grant will benefit the students participating in the One by One and the Glenview MS Mariachi Band projects. (More information about the grant and One by One in our August issue of Hola America)
While LULAC Moline is still growing, the members are involved heavily in local events that celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. LULAC Moline will join LULAC Davenport for their Fiesta on September 12, a local well known celebration where the LULAC Fiesta Queen is chosen. Another event that is quickly becoming a tradition in East Moline is the Mexican Independence Day Parade that this year will be on September 13. LULAC Moline will definitely be there to help. Finally, members of LULAC Moline will be supporting one of the biggest celebrations of Hispanic heritage in the Quad Cities the Viva QC Fiesta. This year the celebration will be on September 19.
“Members of our council are serving on the planning committee for VIVA QUAD CITIES this year in preparation for the event becoming a Quad Cities LULAC event next year,” Cindy Ramos, President of LULAC Moline shared an exciting news.
Ramos explained that in the fall of next year LULAC Moline and LULAC Davenport will be working together and will continue organizing this well known and loved event in the Quad Cities.
And when it comes to working together LULAC Moline and LULAC Davenport are developing a supporting relationship. LULAC Davenport has been around for more than fifty five years. Not only do they know their community, they are also well respected by everyone in the area. That is why members of LULAC Moline feel fortunate to have their help.
“We are forever grateful to have the opportunity to partner with projects as we move forward. We see ourselves working together as much as we can and always supporting each other,” Zertuche told us about the relationship between LULAC Moline and LULAC Davenport.
“We are so grateful to have them as a resource as we work to build our council’s presence in the Quad Cities,” Ramos added.
LULAC is growing with every year. New Councils formed, new members join. LULAC Council 5285 of Moline is still young, but with new enthusiastic leaders at the helm good things are bound to happen.
LULAC Moline invites everyone who wishes to join the Council 5285. We meet the second Monday of each month at Milltown Coffee. Our social hour starts at 5:00 and our meetings begin at 5:30. For information contact Gabriela Hurtado at [email protected]. Annual fee is $21.