Despite many consecutive days of rain, the sky held back its waters on Sunday for San Anto. The brightly colored La Musica de San Anto mural on Commerce Street served as the backdrop for Sunday's Press Conference announcing the 12th Annual Huevos Rancheros Gala and Silent Art Auction. The festive colors and images on the mural were a stunning juxtaposition against the dark and ominous sky, but the weather held. Two cameras and one newspaper reporter showed up to cover the proceedings, which was an usually large number for a press conference for a nonprofit's fundraiser; something special was clearly in the air that morning.
Manny seemed to reign over the event with the podium, speakers, and arte laid out before him. His image in the background was a powerful reminder of whose legacy we will honor on October 3rd. It also represented how Manny's life and work form the background, the foundation, of what we do at San Anto, and that he will be present in everything we do in the life of the organization.
Current Executive Director Heather Eichling kicked off the event by talking about San Anto's mission, and filling in some of the details about the Huevos Rancheros Gala and Silent Art Auction. She explained that Huevos actually started out as a bit of a joke-- Manny started talking about the fundraisers and galas other organizations do, and how if San Anto were to do a gala we would need to serve something simple (and cheap) like huevos rancheros. The idea grew from there into a reality, and twelve years later it is bigger and better than anyone at those initial could have imagined.
Board member and original co-founder Cruz Ortiz took over the mic next to talk more about Manny's legacy within the organization. He talked about how easy a decision it was to name Manny King Huevo after his passing in January because of all he did for the organization, arts, and the Westside, despite not being an artist himself. San Anto decided to name Manny's mother, Rafaela Castillo, Queen Huevo to honor another major facet of Manny's life that was close to his heart: his family.
Manny's sister, Diana Farias, took the mic after Cruz to give a meaningful tribute from her family's perspective. She talked about how much it meant to them as a family to watch their brother and his organization grow from a dream to a reality, and she said how much they love seeing the programs' participants grow and flourish in the environment he created. She expressed her thanks for the many tributes San Anto and other groups have done for her brother, and she talked about how excited she and the rest of her family is for Huevos and for her parents to be King and Queen.
Then, in an exciting preview of what is to come in less than 3 weeks, representatives of SACA crowned Mr. and Mrs. Castillo King and Queen Huevos. This was just a symbolic crowning, however; they will formally establish their reign at Huevos on October 3.
The press conference wrapped up after we crowned our royalty, but people hung around to look at the art Cruz brought that will be auctioned off on October 3. A volunteer brought coffee and pan dulce for everyone, leaving most of us hyped up on caffeine and with a dusting of sparkling sugar on our lips and fingers. The press conference was a great success-- thanks so much to everyone who came out and supported SACA, Huevos Rancheros, and Manny's legacy. We couldn't do it without you!