Latino for a day?
Bayonne Hispanic Association to honor community leaders
by By Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Sep 18, 2013 | 3012 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CULTURE AT ITS BEST – The Latino Parade in Bayonne usually means good music, a lot of color, and great food.
CULTURE AT ITS BEST – The Latino Parade in Bayonne usually means good music, a lot of color, and great food.
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In advance of its annual parade down Broadway, the Bayonne Hispanic Association (BHA) will honor community leaders and others at a Sept. 21 dinner at Villa Maria.

The parade, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 29, has been rescheduled for Oct. 20; the dinner will be held this weekend.

“As part of our ongoing efforts, the Hispanic community will be hosting several activities during the year,” said Abett Hernandez, a founding member of the BHA. “The purpose of these activities is to cherish our traditions and share them with our fellow community members, regardless of their nationality or precedence.”

A fundraiser for a variety of local charities, the dinner pays tribute to a number of local dignitaries, who are also expected to take part in the parade.

Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is Henry Sanchez. Also being honored are Freeholder Doreen Di Domenico, Grand Marshal, Rosa Pagnillo-Lopez, and Al Sullivan of the Bayonne Community News as this year’s journalist of the year.

Sanchez, who played a significant role in the establishing of the Bayonne Community Museum, was employed by the federal government for 51 years. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He is also credited with establishing a Red Cross Blood bank in 1956 and served as a federal fire fighter for seven years. He also served as disaster chairman for the local chapter of the American Red Cross. He was a life member of a number of local veterans’ groups in various ranking positions, from chairman of county and state committees to post commander locally. He also served as a trustee of the Concerned Citizens of Bayonne, N.J.; Past Chairman of the United Way of Hudson County; and member of the Board of Directors and a member of the American Conference on Diversity. He has been honored for his role in government and military services locally, nationally, and internationally.

Rosa Pagnillo-Lopez serves as customer service and community outreach person for Public Service Electric & Gas. Prior to this she worked at the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library, for PACO home energy program, and the U.S. General Accounting Office. She is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico.

Doreen DiDomenico serves as Bayonne’s Freeholder. She grew up in Jersey City and graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. John’s University with a B.S. in Psychology. She received the President's Medal in 1984 and earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1995. She is a Licensed, Clinical Psychologist at Rutgers University, where she serves as Assistant Director of Project: NSTM. She also serves as consulting psychologist to several agencies for persons with developmental disabilities. She is the coordinator of the Child and Adolescent Program at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, providing evaluations and psychotherapy to individuals struggling with anxiety.

Al Sullivan is an award-winning journalist and photographer who has covered the city of Bayonne since 2003. An employee of the Hudson Reporter news organization since 1992, Sullivan grew up in Paterson, which he later covered for the Today Newspapers. He has also worked for the Worrell newspaper chain in Essex County. Named Journalist of the Year in 2001 by the New Jersey Press Association, Sullivan has also won numerous awards with the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists and the Garden State Journalists Association. In 2001, many of Sullivan’s stories appeared in a book titled Everyday People: Profiles from the Garden State, published by Rutgers University Press. He currently works for The Bayonne Community News.

Others to be recognized include Honoree grand marshal from Puerto Rico, Abraham Lopez; Teenager queen, Rachel Macklin from Ecuador; Queen of the Hispanic Parade Alejandra Arana from Mexico; Honoree grand marshal Gregory Malave from the Dominican Republic; Honoree grand marshal Enrique Salazar from Bolivia; Little Parade Queen Angelina Acosta; Little Parade Queen of Puerto Rico Jadalyn Moore; Little Queen from Peru Abigail Belber; Little Queen form Uruguay Pia Antonella Bustamante; and Pedro Alberto, Danny Acosta, George Merino, Ramon Veloz, Daniel Valentine, Miriam Ramirez, and Abett Hernandez.

The parade highlights increase in Latinos in Bayonne

This is the 10th Latino Parade in Bayonne, which has seen a significant increase in the Latino population in the two decades of this century. The parade, Hernandez said, will celebrate the Hispanic community and its arts and promote its businesses by increasing the public’s awareness of Hispanics.

Established in 2004, the Bayonne Hispanic Parade celebrates the diversity of the city by showing that this sector of ethnic culture is alive and well here.

Beginning at 5th Street and Broadway at about 1 p.m. on Oct. 20, the parade will proceed along Broadway, ending on 23rd Street with a celebration. There will be several activities and celebrations which will recognize Latinos within the community. Refreshments will be available at the presentation.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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