FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Sam Marksheid, and Vicki DiStefano | (516) 869-7794
Town Honors Influential Hispanic-American Residents During Hispanic Heritage Month
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board honored seven local Hispanic-American residents at Town Hall on September 27 as part of the Town’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Those honored were recognized for positively influencing the North Hempstead community in a variety of ways.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, and provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans and to celebrate the group’s history, heritage and culture. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American Countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.
“The individuals we are honoring for Hispanic-American Heritage month are truly an inspiration to us all,” Supervisor Bosworth said. “They have put so much effort into bettering our community and the amount of dedication and devotion they have to the Town of North Hempstead is admirable.”
This year’s honorees were:
• Betty Rodriguez (honored by Supervisor Judi Bosworth): Rodriguez has been a resident of Mineola for the past 20 years. A breast cancer survivor herself, she has devoted her time to volunteering for several breast cancer organizations and awareness programs. This includes the Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program at Adelphi University, Sisters United in Health, and Winthrop University Hospital’s Oncology division. Rodriguez also began outreach at Nassau BOCES by bringing in a mobile mammography van for women who never had a mammography.
• Yanira Chacon-Lopez (honored by Council Member Viviana Russell, District 1): Yanira Chacon-Lopez is a resident of Westbury and for the past 14 years, she has worked at Saint Brigid’s Church in Westbury serving the Spanish community in Westbury/New Cassel. Chacon-Lopez has been recognized on many occasions for her advocacy and community service. She has been the recipient of the Pax Christi L.I. “Peace Maker” Award, and honored by the Central American Refugee Center, the New Cassel Westbury Progressive Partners, the Haitian American Psychiatric Association, among others.
• Chris Alvarez (honored by Council Member Peter Zuckerman, District 2): Chris Alvarez is a recent graduate of the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson. At age 2, Alvarez was diagnosed with Thanatophoric Dysplasia Type 2 - a severe skeletal disorder in which the person affected has a narrow chest, a small ribcage, small limbs, and underdeveloped lungs. Despite his physical and medical challenges, he was the Valedictorian for his senior high school class, graduating with an advanced Regents diploma, as well as the captain of his school’s wheelchair basketball team. Alvarez is currently a freshman at Adelphi University, majoring in Communications and pursuing his dream of becoming a broadcast journalist.
• Tony Colon (honored by Council Member Angelo Ferrara, District 3): Tony Colon settled in Garden City Park in 1965. Colon has been a tremendous asset to the North Hempstead community through his involvement with many organizations. Colon plans fundraising and promotion of the Garden City Park Christmas tree lighting with The Garden City Park Homeowners Civic Association. He is also a 23-year volunteer firefighter and former captain with the Garden City Park Fire Department.
• Ron Gimondo (honored by Council Member Anna Kaplan, District 4): Ron Gimondo is the current Principal of John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Great Neck. 2016 marks Ron’s 24th year working in an elementary school setting (his 11th year in Great Neck, and his 6th year as Principal). His years of experience as an English as a Second Language Teacher and Assistant Principal have prepared him for the challenges that the Principal of the John F. Kennedy School faces.
• Silva Akerman (honored by Council Member Lee Seeman, District 5): Silva Akerman has lived in Great Neck Estates since 1980. In Argentina, she was a biochemist and worked at a major hospital in Buenos Aires. After moving to Great Neck, Akerman conducted research in Oncology at North Shore University Hospital and left to become a tutor in Science at Great Neck North where she still tutors. Akerman became Vice President of South Middle and South High School PTA and started Friends of the Library for the Hispanic Population. She was a founding member and VP of the Hispanic Community of Great Neck (HCGN). She also started and the Hispanic College Night.
• Blanca Fabian (honored by Council Member Dina De Giorgio, District 6): Blanca Fabian is a proud resident of Port Washington and in 1997, Blanca joined the Board of Directors of Port Washington Community Action Council and Cow Bay Housing. She assists with community projects, youth activities, tutorial programs, holidays and special events. In 2005, Fabian received the “Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award” from the EOC of Nassau County, and in 2009 she received the “Woman of Distinction Award” from then NY State Senator Craig M. Johnson. Recently, Blanca Fabian was a 2015 Honoree of the May W. Newburger Town of North Hempstead Women’s Roll of Honor.
The Pledge of Allegiance was performed by Staff Sergeant Guillermo Figueroa and Staff Sergeant Carlos Reyes of the United States Army. After the awards ceremony, attendees were invited to step outside the Board Room, where the Town provided a sampling of several Latin American dishes, including empanadas, rice & beans, plantains and a tres leches cake.
For more information on the Town’s honorees or Hispanic Heritage Month, please call 311 or visit www.NorthHempsteadNY.gov.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Supervisor Bosworth’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Betty Rodriguez.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Council Member Viviana Russell’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Yanira Chacon-Lopez.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Council Member Lee Seeman’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Silva Akerman.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Council Member Dina De Giorgio’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Blanca Fabian.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Council Member Angelo Ferrara’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Tony Colon.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Council Member Anna Kaplan’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Ron Gimondo.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board with Council Member Peter Zuckerman’s Hispanic Heritage Month honoree, Chris Alvarez
Town of North Hempstead Town Board with the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month Honorees.