Huntington Recognizes Hispanic Heritage at 24th Annual Celebration

Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Councilman Ed Smyth, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia and Tax Receiver Jillian Guthman were joined by Town officials, the Hispanic Task Force, Senator Carl L. Marcellino, Legislator Susan A. Berland, community leaders, local school districts, students and their families for the 24th Annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration at the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School on Friday, September 28, 2018.

Carmen Kasper, the Town’s recently appointed history-making first Latina Director of Human Services offered the first welcome of the night. Libardo Ramos served as Master of Ceremonies. Frank Altamirano, an All State Singer from Half Hollow Hills High School East, opened the celebration by performing the National Anthem. Josue Daniel Rivera, Lead Pastor at the Huntington Assembly of God, offered the invocation and benediction. The celebration included a keynote speech by counselor, educator and community activist Cristobal Benitez.

“We are here at our Town’s 24th Annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage to recognize Cristobal Benitez, Julio Hernandez, and outstanding students from across the Town of Huntington whose individual contributions have impacted our greater Huntington community,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, as he welcomed the crowd. “We celebrate our culturally rich, diverse Town and the individual contributions that, together, make us great. You are our Town’s Hispanic Heritage, making you all a part of Huntington’s history.”

“It’s important to recognize the contributions of Huntington’s Hispanic community and the good work of the Town’s Hispanic Task Force. I’d like to applaud our new Hispanic Task Force Chair, Veronica Melgar, for her efforts in spearheading Madres Latinas, an initiative that launched in May of this year,” said Councilman Smyth. “Madres Latinas offers resources and learning opportunities for parents, including monthly workshops held the second Wednesday of the month in the Community Room at the Huntington Station Library.”

Cultural musical performances included dance performances by students from Walt Whitman High School and Huntington High School, a performance by Half Hollow Hills High School East’s Guitar Ensemble, and a dinner with a musical performance by the Triple M Fiesta Band.

Julio Hernandez was honored with a Community Service Award and Student Achievement Awards were presented to Ivan Andrade, Victoria Bueso, Juan Carrasco, Francisco Chong, Rachel Friedlander, Sara Gallegos, Tatiana LaSalle, Anyi Mancia-Matute, Melanie Navarro, Brenda Perez Peláez, Henry Rivas, Samantha Rivera, Daniella Rodriguez-Rebolledo, Gabriella Rojas, Ricardo Romero, Katie Sierra, Michaela Soury, Aidan Tornquist, Jeannet Vargas, and Claudia Villatoro.

The celebration was sponsored by Palacios Law Group, the Law Offices of David M. Sperling, People’s United Bank, and HealthFirst, with donations from Walgreens.

In the photos (l-r): (1) Director of Minority Affairs Kevin Thorbourne; Tax Receiver Jillian Guthman; Dr. Pat Marcellino; Senator Carl L. Marcellino; Councilman Edmund J.M. Smyth; Director of Human Services Carmen Kasper; Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia; Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci; James Callero; Pilar Moya; Cristobal Benitez; Libardo Ramos.

(2) Group photo of Town, State, County officials, community leaders and student honorees.

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