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Inland Latinos Honored

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Family members and dignitaries packed the San Bernardino County Government Center Rotunda to honor a few of the Inland Empire's unsung heroes in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Oct. 29 reception celebrated the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month, which designates a 30-day period straddling September and October to recognize cultural diversity and the contributions of the Hispanic community.

State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, 32nd District and 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales hosted the awards reception in partnership with the Hispanic Employees Alliance of San Bernardino County, Arrowhead Credit Union, Univision KMEX Television Station and Alycia Enciso & Associates.

The honorees distinguished themselves through their work with youth, or their endeavors in promoting a greater understanding of the rich diversity of Latino culture through arts and activities. Military hero Saul Martinez was honored for his patriotism, love of country and for being an inspiration to youth.

Honorees were Muscoy residents Danny and Angelina Flores and Mario Mejia; Rialto volunteers Elyda Reyes-Gandy and Jim Redondo; Fontana residents Lydia Gonzales and Rev. David Zamora; San Bernardino's Art and Lupe Solis and Dr. Ed Perez; Mrs. Jessie Gomez and Dr. Luis Gonzalez of Colton; and Violeta Suazo and Army Spc. Saul Martinez of Bloomington.

KCSB Channel 3 television host and longtime radio personality Alfredo Gonzalez was honored with a Lifetime Media Achievement Award and Sinfonia Mexicana named the Organization of the Year.

(not in order) Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod and Supervisor Josie Gonzales, Sinfonia Executive Director Anthony Bocanegra, Maelia Macin the new VP and General Manager for Univision, the young Latino cast of L.A. production of Walk Out, Mexican Consul Carlos I. Giralt-Cabrales and Alycia Enciso.

"America's diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and the Latino community has made many contributions to our nation and state. It is fitting that we recognize those contributions during Hispanic Heritage Month," said Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino).

Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales said she was honored to co-host the event.

"It is my honor to recognize and celebrate the professionalism - the outstanding accomplishments and successes of a few of our community's unsung heroes - of men and women who work hard to instill a greater appreciation and understanding of our Latino cultural heritage," Gonzales said.

The reception incorporated the historical photo collection, "Latinos in Hollywood," curated by Enciso that was on display in the 2nd Floor Art Exhibit Hall of the County Government Center.  The exhibit included photos of legendary Hispanics in film. The young Latino cast from the Los Angeles play Walk Out was also in attendance to honor the awardees.

Hispanic Heritage Week was first approved by Congress in 1968 to commemorate the contributions of the Hispanic Community. It was extended to National Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988.

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