WASHINGTON -- A pinch of Puerto Rican culture will be sprinkled upon St. Louis next week, as Carlos Beltran is set to host "A Night in San Juan" event to benefit the Carlos Beltran Foundation.
The event, scheduled for Wednesday at the Four Seasons Hotel, will feature Latin cuisine, music and entertainment, as well as performances by professional dancers from the television show "Dancing with the Stars." Several other celebrities, athletes, musicians and actors will also be in attendance.
"I have some friends who I have met in St. Louis who have been taking salsa classes and things like that," said Beltran, a native of Manati, Puerto Rico. "So I said, 'You know what? That would be good to bring what we normally do in Puerto Rico to St. Louis so that people in the Midwest can experience what we do.' I think it's going to be a good thing for the fans. They're going to enjoy it. The players are going to enjoy it too.
"And the good thing is that we have the next day off, so we can dance as much as we want."
All proceeds from "A Night in San Juan" will be donated to Beltran's foundation, which recently opened the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. Beltran said that 140 children are currently enrolled in the Academy, which he monitors from afar during the baseball season and visits regularly over the winter.
The Academy, which cost $10 million to complete, held its first day of classes in August 2011.
"I really enjoy going there and watching those kids do their work. It's a beautiful thing," Beltran said. "I look at myself and the things that I went through and I know there are a lot of kids going through what I went through. I see what God has given me and the opportunity to make a good living out of baseball, and I just decided to do something that was going to impact kids, not just for one year, but for year after year."
To purchase tickets or find out more about sponsorship opportunities for Wednesday's St. Louis event can be found on stlcardinals.com. More information about the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy can be found at http://carlosbeltranacademy.org/.