To date, “Salsa For A Cure” has raised more than $28,000 for patient care service at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
When you think of salsa, it’s easy to envision the music, dancing, bright colors and energy. When you think about cancer, it likely brings up opposite emotions. But here in Buffalo, community members have found a way to use the vibrancy of salsa to make a difference in the lives of people living with cancer.
“Salsa for A Cure,” an amateur dance competition, took place on September 16, 2022 at Pucho’s Social Club. The event is a fundraiser for patient care services at Roswell Park.
“I figured, if I had an event that featured Spanish music, especially for Hispanic Heritage Month, we would get more people to learn and be more aware about the different cancers,” said Maritza Vega, “Salsa for A Cure” chairperson.
According to Maritza, one of the primary goals of the event is bringing joy to those who may be suffering due to cancer.
“Making people happy: It’s a way of wellness,” she explained. “I chose ‘Salsa for A Cure’ because I knew that people, when they came to this event, were going to be happy. They were going to be willing and ready to contribute.”
Dinorah E. Santos agrees. Dinorah is a past board member of the Hispanic Heritage Council and she currently handles public relations for the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute.
“Come for the music. Come for the drinks. Come for the vibes and the energy,” Dinorah exclaimed while being interviewed at the event.
When asked about the significance of “Salsa for A Cure,” Dinorah said the amateur dance competition is a great symbol for Hispanic and Latino culture — and the diversity within those communities. “It just shows how this culture can be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone, especially in a time where we just spent so much time behind closed doors in our homes away from others [due to the COVID-19 pandemic]. Here, everyone is just coming together and appreciating the culture.”
The fundraiser was put on in coordination with the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, the Pucho Olivencia Center, the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade, Baila Salsa and many more community partners.
To date, “Salsa for A Cure” has raised more than $28,000 for patient care services at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; however, Maritza believes the event can make an even bigger impact! She hopes to see the fundraiser continue to grow for years to come.
We all have the tools to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. For anyone looking to start their own fundraiser, Maritza offered, “It takes people to come together and make it happen.”