The Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic County has announced the winners of the 2006 Nuestro Pueblo (Our Town) Awards, which recognize individuals who have contributed to improve the quality of life in the Hispanic community and advance Hispanic cultural heritage. Ten individuals and a local organization will receive the awards on April 8 at Bally's Park Place.
A special guest will be Telemundo star Dr. Ana Maria Polo, host of "Caso Cerrado" (Case Closed). She will receive a Distinguished Service Award.
Other awards include:
Arts and Entertainment award to Carlos Espinal, a professional actor and a radio personality who launched a local TV show to provide information to the Latino community.
Community Service Award to Volga Rodriguez and Migdalia Vazquez, foster parents. Rodriguez works full time at Harrah's, is a cancer survivor with three children she is adopting. Vazquez has frequently provided a safe nurturing home for children in emergency situations.
Youth Service Award to Luis Silva, of Margate, a graduate of Atlantic City High School and an Emergency Medical Technician student. Luis is a member of the Longport Volunteer Fire Department.
Public Service Award to Councilman Ramon "Tito" Rosario, the first Latino to hold such an office in Atlantic City.
Education Award dedicated to the memory of Ivette Rodriguez-McMahon, a teacher at Sovereign Avenue School, will go to Lourdes L. Vidal-Turner, supervisor of ESL/Bilingual education in Atlantic City schools.
Business Award to Maria Ruiz, who has operated a number of successful hair salons in Atlantic City.
Science and Technology Award to Aracelis Feliciano, a nurse for more than 25 years, who is director of nursing for Bayada Nurses and oversees the Atlantic City Español program, which provides nursing care to Latino patients with an all-Latino staff.
"Nuestro Amigo" (Our Friend) Award to Harry Paraison, diabetes program coordinator for Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers and executive director of Diabeticos Hispanos/Perfil Latino TV.
HAAC Service Award to Tasha Rodriguez, coordinator of cross-cultural resources for AtlantiCare and a board member of the Hispanic Alliance.