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Hispanic Heritage Month

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute will sponsor a number of notable events on Capitol Hill this week.

The CHCI’s 26th Annual Gala, the banner event of the week, will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight Wednesday. The black-tie fundraiser at the MCI Center has been dubbed as the nation’s largest gathering of Hispanic leaders in the country, and organizers are hoping to raise $3 million for CHCI educational programs. [IMGCAP(1)]

Hosted by NBC’s “The Other Half” star Mario Lopez, the evening will include award presentations to singer Ricky Martin, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and National Council of La Raza President Raul Yzaguirre. Other notable guests will include Army Spc. Shoshanna Johnson — who was taken prisoner after her convoy was ambushed during the war in Iraq — and Puerto Rican salsa superstar Olga Tañon.

The CHCI’s Issues Conference will take place today and Tuesday at the Washington Convention Center. The conference will feature keynote addresses from Surgeon General Richard Carmona and actor Lupe Ontiveros.

Also Wednesday, the CHCI will launch its National Housing Initiative Program.

— John McArdle

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