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Colombian Festival's Food, Music Draw Hundreds

Sixth annual event at the Madison Area YMCA raised money for a rehabilitation center in Filandia, the same town where many of Madison's Colombian residents originally are from.

Hundreds of residents from Madison and surrounding towns attended the sixth annual Madison Colombian Festival on Sunday at the , where organizers unveiled engineering plans for a rehabilitation center in Colombia for children with developmental disabilities, a project that has been in the works for years.

The event, an effort of the Madison Rotary, Madison Area YMCA, Quindianos Unidos Por Colombia, and Fundacion Unidos Por Filandia, raises money for the rehabilitation center project while also bringing together Madison residents for food, music, dancing and games.

Lorena Arango, president of Funacion Unidos Por Filandia, said construction of the center, which will be built in the Colombian city Filandia, is ready to begin after years of planning.

"Finally, something is happening," she said.

There's a reason the Madison Colombian Festival supports a project in Filandia.

Many Colombians with ties to Madison moved to the borough from Filandia in the 1980s, according to Guillermo Gil, president of Quindianos Unidos Por Colombia. Gil said it started with one family from Filandia that moved to Madison, and then others followed.

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