2022 Gala News

Mita’s Foundation President/CEO Tina Peña (center) congratulates this year’s Orgullo Hispano award recipients (from left to right) Francisco Ibarra, Rita Gallardo, Yolanda Charney and Dr. Martha Zapata.

Mita’s Foundation honors four Orgullo Hispano at 2022 charity gala

Nearly 250 people experienced an evening of elegance on May 21, 2022, when Mita’s Foundation honored four outstanding leaders in the local Hispanic community at its charity gala held at the Mayo Hotel Crystal Ballroom in Downtown Tulsa. 

Yolanda Charney, Rita Gallardo, Francisco Ibarra and Dr. Martha Zapata were recognized for “being the unsung heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Tina Peña, president/CEO of Mita’s Foundation. “These Orgullo Hispano represent the heart of our organization.” Their charitable works and philanthropical spirit reflect the life of the Peña family’s late matriarch for whom Mita’s Foundation was founded.

Notable dignitaries who attended the banquet included Rodger Randle, former mayor of Tulsa; Mark Wollmershauser, major at the Tulsa Police Department; Christianne Haas, Director of Community Engagement at the Executive Office of the Governor of Oklahoma; and Fred Mendoza, chairman of the Governor’s Hispanic Initiatives Council; among many other high-profile guests.

Everyone came to congratulate Charney, Gallardo, Ibarra and Zapata as well as show their support for Mita’s Foundation whose mission since 2010 has been to provide charitable relief and improve the quality of life for the impoverished and underprivileged children of Peru and their families.

Charney has held numerous professional and philanthropic positions, such as co-founder of the Hispanic American Foundation and former Director of Community Relations at the Jewish Federation of Tulsa. She was born to and raised by Mexican immigrants in Texas.

Gallardo is the founder and CEO of La Cosecha Inc. (“The Harvest”), a food pantry service. Born in Cerocahui, Chihuahua, Mexico, she immigrated to the U.S.A. and later became a citizen. Her faith in God and in the kindness of Tulsans has led her to give back and help others.

Ibarra heads the Oklahoma region of his family’s business, Supermercados Morelos. He was born in Celaya Guanajuato, Mexico, graduated with an industrial engineering degree from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico in 1991 and came to the U.S.A. in 1998.

Dr. Zapata is the founder and executive director of Uma Tulsa Inc. which empowers underserved communities through culturally responsive educational and training programs. She grew up in South America and is proud to be a Tulsan for more than 24 years.

Michael Grogan, FOX 23 meteorologist, and Analilian Vasquez, entrepreneur/philanthropist, served as co-emcees at this charity gala. 

Pam Ballard, CEO at Community Service Council (CSC), was the honorary co-chair of this event, which featured fine Latin-inspired cuisine by Abraham Ybarra, executive chef at the Mayo Hotel; live and silent auctions; entertainment by Fernando Vasquez, a teen violinist who played Peruvian folk songs, and Emily and Josselyn Dancourt, two sisters who performed a lively Peruvian folk dance; music by DJ Alfredo Sampayo; and Latin dancing. 

A special video produced by Jeromee Scot, Chief Media and Community Engagement Officer at CSC, was shown at the gala to explain the mission of Mita’s Foundation and the donors’ positive impact on the lives of underserved Peruvians.

Funds raised from this event will be used for much needed medical and educational services and supplies. Mita’s Foundation established a clinic and trade school in the impoverished village of Santa Rosa de Quives in Peru. The organization also runs a soup kitchen in Peru and purchases food to feed the hungry in Puerto Cancas. Those who were not able to attend the charity gala but wish to donate to a good cause may do so by visiting the website for more information at http://www.mitasfoundation.org.