Hat Tricks Welcome Richie Reyes & Latino Scholarship Fund to Danbury Ice Arena

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT- On Saturday, December 10th, the Danbury Hat Tricks will be honoring all the educators who support the students at all the schools in our area. As part of the festivities, the Hat Tricks will welcome the Latino Scholarship Fund to the Danbury Ice Arena. Founded in 1994 by Ileana Velazquez and Peter Kalman, the Fund has a mission to advance the education and career opportunities of Latino high school seniors in the Fairfield County and New Milford area by providing financial assistance.

Among the representatives from the Fund who will be in attendance at the Danbury Arena on Saturday night will be Richie Reyes, who received a scholarship to attend New York University from the Latino Scholarship fun and has given back through his businesses and charitable efforts. 

Reyes was born in Danbury and moved to Bethel, where he attended the public school system from the fourth grade all the way until graduating from Bethel High School.

Reyes graduated from NYU with a degree in Sociology on a “pre-business” track as referred to by the university. “It was the right school for me and that would’ve never been possible without the Latino Scholarship Fund supporting me. It was the largest award they had given at the time, so I was ecstatic to know that the hard work was rewarded and that there were people who believed in a better version of you.”

He initially intended on becoming an attorney but decided against it after a year working in the business. He went to school with zero interest in entering his father’s business: the restaurant industry.  He owned, and continues to own to this day, Amigo’s Deli on West Street in Danbury. While Richie went to school he saw the New York food scene and realized he had the entrepreneurial passion to enter that industry. He moved back to Danbury and got involved in his family’s business, helping expand the Danbury operation to include Mina’s Deli, Amigos Liquor Store, Mariposa Taqueria, and Mamita’s Ice Cream. He then partnered with his childhood, Tony Pham, to open Mecha Noodle Bar, which now operates five locations across Connecticut, ranging from Fairfield to Stamford to West Hartford.

Since opening these restaurants, Reyes has used his platform to support the Latino Scholarship Fund with his charitable arm called Eat Justice, and has continued to work with the board of the Fund to support more children growing up in situations similar to his. “It’s a seamless thing between myself and some of the people in the organization, entrepreneur to entrepreneur because that’s what a non-profit is.”

Mr Reyes summed up his support of the organization with a simple thought: “If someone gives you a hand, you give one back.”

He will address the crowd at the Danbury Arena on Saturday night. Puck drop is at 7 PM ET.