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Annual golf outing supports Joliet’s Spanish Community Center

The Spanish Community Center held its seventh annual golf outing May 18 to raise funds to support its programming and services.

Highlights at the event consisted of raffle drawings, lunch, dinner and a scramble golf.

“The best thing is that all of the money goes directly to the Spanish Center,” said Luke Antonsen, board member and former board president of Spanish Community Center. “Everything goes to the center to help with their social services.”

The green at Inwood Golf Course in Joliet drew a crowd of supporters. Nearly 120 participants partook in the golf outing this year.

“Every year, we’ve had so many people that come back each year now,” Antonsen said. “It generates obviously some new interest, but people enjoy it so much that they’re coming back each year. I think that has to do with promoting the center in general.”

The Spanish Community Center provides social service assistance to individuals throughout Will County. Through the intake process, those on staff look to identify forms of assistance to assist individuals in dealing with various barriers. The Spanish Community Center serves as a resource addressing concerns such as language barriers, healthcare needs, referrals and legal assistance.

“Right now, we’re going through a time where our funding is limited, especially given that the state budget is something that has been helping us,” said Veronica Gloria, executive director of Spanish Community Center. “With the current budget situation, we’re not really sure [what to expect], but the good thing is the community has really been coming together [to support the center.]”

“It’s really exciting to see that we have a really nice day and a really nice turnout to make sure that we keep having these programs,” Gloria said.

Dave Shea, of Joliet, was one of the golfers preparing to hit the green.

“It’s for a great cause,” he said. “The Spanish Community Center does so many great things for the area—from immigration to other things. It’s just a great cause.”

This year was Shea’s fifth time partaking in the golf outing.

Shea said he hopes that a day of golfing provides an opportunity “just to have fun with family and friends and have a good time for a good cause.”

Reuben Reyes, of Naperville, said he was looking forward to having a good time to support a great cause.

“It’s a beautiful day, nice turnout,” he said. “The last five years I’ve been here, we’ve been lucky.”

This year was Reyes’ fifth time attending the golf outing.

Reyes said the reason he continues to come out to support the Spanish Community Center is simple.

“The Spanish Center helps a lot of people,” he said.

Gloria said though the future is not clear, those on staff remain optimistic.

“There are times where we really worry about the future, but when we have events like these and we see that everyone’s here to have a good time and also support, it gives us the energy to keep doing what we’re doing,” Gloria said.

“Everyday we hear stories that are just very difficult to hear, so we can only imagine what it’s like to have to live through not knowing where going to live, not knowing [if] you’re going to have clothes,” Gloria said. “To know that everyday our staff is making a difference in people’s lives, is something that we see for thousands of people from across Will County.”

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