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Original cover art by Artist and Illustrator, Steve Simpson.

Dallas-based nonprofit to honor those who have passed and celebrate the achievements of the Latino community during this year’s gala expecting to raise $275,000.

Presenting sponsor Santander Consumer USA

DALLAS – (August 29, 2023) – The Concilio, a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to building stronger communities by unlocking opportunities for Latino families, has revealed the “padrinos” or “godfathers” who are chairing this year’s Big Dreams Gala, titled “Dia de Los Muertos: Honoring Our Ancestors.” The event’s co-chairs, Yousef Kattan and Manny Fernandez, along with honorary chair Pete Lerma, are leading the way. The organization also announced its $275,000 fundraising goal for the gala, where Santander Consumer USA is the Presenting sponsor. The Big Dreams Gala will take place on November 3, 2023, at The Empire Room, celebrating the contributions of community leaders who have uplifted the Latino community and have recently passed.

Last year, The Concilio marked its 40th year of serving the DFW Latino community and empowering families to dream big. The organization is poised to continue its work through education, advocacy and evidence-based programming.

“At Big Dreams Gala we celebrate the hard work of our program teams and the growing number of families we have the privilege of serving,” said Florencia Velasco Fortner, president and CEO of The Concilio. “This year’s gala is especially dear to me as we convene at the end of Dia de Los Muertos festivities, remembering those who furthered Latino equity. I extend my gratitude to the Padrinos – Yousef, Manny and Pete – for their leadership in chairing the gala. Their commitment to driving social change and advocating for higher education will inspire others to support the families we serve and beyond.”

Tables for the Big Dreams Gala, “Dia de Los Muertos: Honoring Our Ancestors,” are available starting at $3,000. Sponsorship opportunities for the gala are also available and include the following tiers:

  • Presenting sponsor - $30,000
  • La Catrina - $20,000
  • Calaveras - $10,000
  • Marigold Flor de Muerto - $5,000
  • Calacas - $3,000

Current sponsors include Santander Consumer USA as Presenting sponsor, PepsiCo as Catrina and Ofrenda Screen sponsor, and Muñoz Wealth Management of Raymond James, Career Management Partners (CMP), The Addy Foundation, Origin Bank, APEX Fintech Solutions, Southwestern Medical Foundation of UT Southwestern Medical Center, CBRE, MoneyGram, State Fair of Texas, Shawn Allgood and Mathew Michalak.

For more information about the event, tickets and sponsorship details, please click the link or contact Michelle Wilner at

About The Concilio
The Concilio is a North Texas nonprofit that has helped Latino families fulfill their potential since 1981. Founded to advance Latino equity and address the needs of the growing Latino population in Dallas-Fort Worth, The Concilio unlocks education, wellness and economic opportunities for Latino and other diverse families through grassroots outreach. The organization’s culturally responsive parent engagement programs have empowered families in 24 regional school districts, equipping 22,000 adults and children annually to forge a path to greater academic achievement, health and fulfilled potential. The nonprofit’s programming now includes financial coaching, crisis intervention, and cultural competency training and education. Most recently, The Concilio, a recognized leader in connecting with and advocating for North Texas Latino families, has addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community. For information visit

Media Contact:

Sara Jendrusch-Wong


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