New York – The Hispanic Federation welcomed nearly 700 distinguished guests and honorees to its star-studded 2011 Annual Benefit Gala at The Waldorf-Astoria. Under the theme of “Ignite the Light,” the Federation’s gala helped raise over 1 million dollars in support programs and services for the Latino community.
The gala featured co-Masters of Ceremonies Lin Manuel Miranda, Tony and Grammy Award Winning Composer-Lyricist and Actor, and MTV Host and Actress Julissa Bermudez. Entertainment legend Charo was one of a number of special presenters and performers, including multi-platinum recording artist Frankie Negron and Dancer and Actor John Rua.
Four extraordinary institutions and individuals were honored at this year’s benefit event. Wells Fargo received the Federation’s Corporate Leadership Award for their stellar commitment to providing bilingual financial education and support of Hispanic causes. The Premio Orgullo (Pride Award) was presented to AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets President and CEO Ralph de la Vega for his outstanding achievements in the world of telecommunications and his dedication to youth development. Goya Foods, celebrating 75 years as a Latino-owned and operated business, was honored with the Legacy Award. The Community Service Award was given to the Federation’s member agency, Puerto Rican Association for Human Development for their unwavering dedication to New Jersey’s Latino community.
“We are deeply touched by the impressive number of companies and individuals who supported tonight’s benefit event, especially given the difficult economic times we’re enduring” said Lillian Rodríguez López, President of the Hispanic Federation. “It is a testament to the belief our gala partners have in our work, and their passion and commitment to uplift our community.”
“Wells Fargo is honored to be recognized by the Hispanic Federation for its longstanding support of the Latino community -- especially its commitment to provide bilingual financial education in the communities it serves," said Joe Kirk, Wells Fargo's regional president for New York and Connecticut. "We are equally proud of our partnership with the Hispanic Federation, the premier Latino social service and advocacy agency in the Northeast. By working together we can help the Hispanic Federation achieve its mission to empower and advance the Hispanic community, and we are grateful for that opportunity."
“I’m honored and humbled by the Hispanic Federation’s recognition and proud of the opportunity to stand with an organization that contributes so much to the advancement of the Latino community,” said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets and recipient of this year’s Orgullo Award. “Throughout my career I have seen how a good education and a supportive community has helped me reach my goals and it motivates me to know that I can share that experience to empower our youth to aspire, learn, and achieve.”
“The Hispanic Federation’s dedication to helping the community is inspiring, and it is one of the many reasons why Goya is proud to call the Hispanic Federation a community partner. And, as a company that was founded in New York City as well, it’s always a pleasure to support one of our own,” said Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods, Inc.
A long list of elected officials also attended the Hispanic Federation’s gala, including U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez; New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; NYC Comptroller John Liu; NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr; NYS Assembly Members Felix Ortiz, Guillermo Linares and Robert Rodriguez; NYS Senators John Sampson, Adriano Espaillat and Gustavo Rivera; NYC Council Members Robert Jackson, Melissa Mark Viverito, Julissa Ferreras and Ydanis Rodriguez.
The proceeds from the annual gala support the Federation’s programs and services, which are geared towards strengthening Hispanic families and a network of nearly 100 Latino nonprofits.
The mission of the Hispanic Federation is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. The Federation works closely with Latino health and human services agencies to promote the social, political and economic well-being of the Latino community. The Federation’s seven strategic action areas include education, health, economic empowerment, immigration and civic engagement, the environment and organizational development assistance. For more information, please visit www.hispanicfederation.org.