Dinner and dancing benefit Riverside education

An authentic Mexican dinner will benefit the students who attend the Riverside Education Center.

Homemade tortillas and great music guarantee a good time at the inaugural Mexican dinner to benefit the Riverside Education Center, this Saturday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the family and friends of students at the center will give demonstrations of how to make homemade tamales and tortillas. "There's going to be a lot food," said Mary Gonzales, co-executive director of the center and organizer of the event. "People won't be hungry for a week."

The recipes used for the dinner have been handed down through the families of many of the Latino families volunteering to cook for the event.

In addition to just a plain good meal, the cooking traditions are important to the Latino community. "So many of our students come from a Latino background and this honors their culture," she explained.

Music by a live DJ will provide entertainment and dancing after dinner.

The Riverside Education Center is a nonprofit organization that provides additional educational opportunities for students who need extra academic attention. More than 60 volunteers are needed each school year to provide tutoring for the students in a variety of subjects. There is always a need for more volunteers, Gonzales said.

"We provide extra enrichment and those with other academic needs," Gonzales said.

A $50 donation per person is requested at the event. All proceeds will benefit the general operation expenses of the center.

Reservations are required by 5 p.m. Friday. For information, call 433-0481 or visit www.rec4kids.com.