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Sol Fest event raises funds for the South Side community

Sol Fest event raises funds for the South Side community

Expect community pride with a Fiesta twist during the Sol Fest event happening this Friday.

Organized by the Southside Education Association, the fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, April 1, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Mission City Soccer Complex, 2600 Red Hill Lane.

Organizers said the event had something for everyone.

From local vendors to a classic car show, a special needs football clinic, musical entertainment from Texas’ Whiskey 2 Step and Grupo Cielo to community leader games and appearances, the half-day event will appeal to for sure, organizers said.

South Texas Youth Soccer and Mission City Youth Soccer Complex are working with the Southside Education Association to host the second annual event which was created to instill pride in the South Side community it aims to help.


All proceeds are donated to the community, benefiting the Mission City Youth Soccer Complex, programs for students with special needs, and scholarships for senior Southside ISD graduates.

The scholarship program, Southside Education Association Scholarship Foundation, is the brainchild of Rudy Ramirez, who is president of the Southside Education Association. Ramirez said he took on the leadership role for the chance to do something for the kids.

“Teaching is more than just educating, it’s getting involved in a student’s life to develop a passion for their future and help them achieve that future,” he said. “Giving back and giving back is what teaching is all about. I always tell my students, “Reach for the stars, just make sure you’re the star you’re aiming for.”

The brilliance of the Sol Fest community has had some growing pains.

Weather, scheduling conflicts and vendor availability due to COVID-19 concerns have stifled event organizers’ ability to offer scholarships to senior graduates in recent years, said Southside co-founder Kim Martinic. Education Association Scholarship Foundation.

However, the dream of supporting South Side youth did not fade, and the group was able to offer several $500 scholarships.

“We just wanted to help as many kids as possible,” she said.

Helping turn things around for Sol Fest was Maria Quezada, who works as the USA Rescue Coordinator with the Texas State Teacher Association.

Hired by the National Education Association as an ISD Southside “storyteller,” Quezada has spent the past two years collecting and sharing stories from the community to persuade the US government to release more Esser funds for the Public Education, which are funds for unreimbursed coronavirus-related costs and to help students who are not doing well academically.

Public education has been one of many entities affected by budget cuts throughout the pandemic. Quezada said she would like to see the community invest in Sol Fest, especially for the sake of students with special needs who often go unrecognized for their accomplishments. Quezada knows this feeling of being left out all too well, having grown up with cerebral palsy.

“I don’t want a child to feel what I felt,” she says.

Sol Fest organizers are encouraging the South Side community to participate.

The Sol Fest registration fee is $5 for adults and the soccer clinic is free.

Athlete registration is available at tinyurl.com/yckmusu8 and volunteer registration at tinyurl.com/yckua4hd.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 210-862-7488. Information is also available on the Sol Fest Facebook page.