Town Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Today, Supervisor Kate Murray and the Hempstead Town Board observed National Hispanic Heritage Month during a special ceremony at Hempstead Town Hall. Six local residents were honored for their contributions to the Hispanic community, their neighborhoods and Hempstead Town as a whole.

"The Hispanic Heritage Month committee selected six outstanding honorees who have made significant contributions to their communities and have been role models for others," stated Murray. "It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize the efforts of these fine individuals," added Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, Hempstead's first clerk of Hispanic heritage.

This year's honorees are: Dr. Bertha Bravo, a dentist whose practice is in Hempstead Village; Jessica Carrasquillo, Manager for Bethpage Federal Credit Union's Elmont branch; Antonio Castro, a V.P. and Financial Consultant at Charles Schwab & Co. in Garden City; Nancy Fuentes, a U.S. Army Gold Star Mother from Levittown; Doris Piedimonte, East Rockaway's Village Clerk and Reverend Carlos Sorto, Pastor of the Centro Cristiano Renacer Church in Freeport.

Delivering the keynote address was Jorge Martinez, the first Hispanic to be elected as a trustee for the Incorporated Village of Freeport. Jorge is an active member of the Freeport community and is past president of the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

A Latino Art exhibit, "Ties of Brotherhood," presented by the IKARUS Gallery Cultural Program, is on display in the lobby of Hempstead Town Hall through October 14. The display features original paintings, drawings and photography from numerous local Latino artists. Viewing is during Town Hall business hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (weekdays).

"Our annual celebration recognizes the unique imprint that Hispanic Americans have been making on our nation and on the Town of Hempstead," concluded Murray. "We take pride in the dynamic and increasing role that this vital component of the town's family plays in shaping the character of our nation, and we are delighted to have an opportunity to honor these individuals."