La Colaborativa, under the leadership of Executive Director Gladys Vega, hosted a gala to celebrate the opening of La Colaborativa’s Chelsea Survival Center Nov. 17 at the beautiful new facility located at 63 Sixth Street.
The event was truly one of the most elegant and momentous evenings in recent years. The Center is a superbly designed 30,000-square foot space, dedicated to the economic sustainability and mobility for the people of Chelsea and beyond.
Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll was among the dignitaries congratulating Gladys Vega and her staff for the outstanding work they have done through the years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when La Colaborativa’s presence was so vital and critical to Chelsea residents’ daily lives.
Norielez DeJesus, a Chelsea city councilor and policy and organizing director at La Colaborativa, told the large gathering, “What an emotional night. What a dream come true. It is amazing to stand with you all today in La Nueva Casa. What this means today for Chelsea, what this means for our families, what this means for our team – you can’t imagine what we’ve been through in the last few years trying to make sure that we stand strong and and we are the face that give our families hope. Now they have this place to call home.”
After an excellent video showing La Colaborativa’s extraordinary 35-year history in Chelsea. City Councilor Melinda Vega had the honor of introducing her mother, Gladys Vega.
Gladys Vega received a hearty and well-deserved standing ovation as she took the stage. “We love you, si se puede,” shouted the crowd reverentially in recognition of Gladys’ immense and positive impact on Chelsea people’s lives for decades.
“For 35 years, I always wanted to leave a legacy of La Colaborativa, a building that continues to make history,” said Vega.
Vega asked Dinanyili Del Carmen Paulino, chief operating officer, to join her on the platform.
“Thank you so much for everything you did,” Gladys told Dinanyili, who shared the vision of building the incomparable Chelsea Survival Center.
Vega thanked the Healey-Driscoll administration for its support. She credited La Colaborativa’s board of directors, led by President Rosie Medina, saying, “Thank you for all the years that you have spent with all of us, for supporting us and believing in our mission and our vision. This was a huge vision, and we were able to accomplish it.”
And thanks to that incredible vision, Gladys Vega and her staff have one of the most impressive buildings of its kind, with a staff ready to serve residents in need of assistance.
“You have impacted our lives in a very meaningful way,” Vega told the people in attendance. “La Colaborativa is about every individual that is here supporting us day in and day out.”
But if you were to name an MVP in Chelsea over the last 35 years, Gladys Vega and La Colobatotiva would be at the top of the list.