2017-09-14 / Scene

Hispanic Service Center to host Mexican Independence Day celebration

By NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com

IMLAY CITY — On Saturday, Sept. 16, the aromas of authentic Mexican fare will fill the halls of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Cedar Street in Imlay City as part of the Hispanic Services Center (HSC)’s Mexican Independence Day celebration and fundraiser.

Serving up traditional dishes like pozole, sopes, flan and two varieties of authentic tacos, the celebration aims to raise money that HSC Director Lourdes Emke said will go directly to renovating the organization’s shelters.

“We’re fundraising for the shelter,” said Emke. “We need to change floors, fix and paint walls, paint porches, replace screens and do a full bathroom remodel.” The repairs are a long time coming according to Emke, and will go a long way to increasing the comfort level of the more than 100 families a year that make use of the HSC’s services.

“It’s a lot of work. We’ve done 300 hours of work already with our volunteers and there’s still so much to be done,” said Emke. “Three of our volunteers are over 70 years old. They’re seniors. I’m very impressed.”

It’s the hope of the HSC and Emke that Saturday’s lunch will generate an amount of money that will allow Emke and her volunteers to rejuvenate the shelter. “I’m hoping the money we get from the fundraiser will be able to really fix up the shelter,” she said. “There will be a lot of policy changes in the shelters to make sure they stay nice.”

Emke said that while a few bad eggs occasionally come through the shelters and cause damage, the many families that contribute their time to leaving the shelters better than how they were when they arrived, are why HSC has been offering their aid for decades. “A lot of the time, a family will come through the shelter and they’ll find work and find a place, and that’s why it works,” said Emke. “It’s the success stories, that’s what I like to see.”

The HSC Mexican Independence Day fundraiser will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on 200 N Cedar St, Imlay City from noon to 4 p.m. Hungry diners can also order take-out the week of Sept. 11 to 16 and HSC is even offering free delivery within three miles. For more information or to place an order, contact the HSC at 810-724-3665 on Monday- Friday or on Saturday, call 810-338- 7399.

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