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PR- 394-05
October 17, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today hosted a reception at Gracie Mansion in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month, which provides an opportunity to highlight the many cultural and social contributions achieved by the Hispanic community, was officially proclaimed in 1988 by the United States Congress. New York City is home to more than 2 million Hispanics, and has a long and rich history of commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. Joining the Mayor at the reception were Hispanic Heritage Parade President Alma Martinez, Vice President of Government and Community Relations of Univision Cristina Schwarz, President of NY/NJ Metro Region of Verizon Wireless Charles Hand, Musician Willie Colón, former U.S. Congressman Herman Badillo, Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Román, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares, Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez, Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne Mulgrav, Housing Authority Chairman Tino Hernandez, Department for the Aging Commissioner Edwin Mendez-Santiago and other invited guests.

"As we continue to build a City of Opportunity, we know that our future is bright because of the talent, energy and drive of Hispanic New Yorkers," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We've been officially celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month for the last few weeks, but we should pay tribute every day to the millions of Hispanics who are leaving a permanent mark on our city."

In 1964, the first annual Hispanic Heritage Parade was celebrated along Fifth Avenue. Both the month long celebration and the Hispanic Heritage Parade honor the culture and pageantry of 22 countries from Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Spain. This year's Hispanic Heritage Day Parade, in which the Mayor marched, took place on Sunday, October 9th 2005. The theme of this year's parade was "Honoring our Pioneers."

Guests this evening enjoyed music performed by the Foncho Castellar and Los Alegres De Columbia Band. This evening's reception was generously sponsored by Verizon Wireless and Univision. Additional donations were received by Manhattan Beer Distributors, Wines of Rioja and El Coto, Foundation for Community Assistance, La Nueva España, La Parrilla Latina, Pollo Campero, Alex Aguinaga Restaurant.


Edward Skyler / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

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