The Hispanic Resource Center will honor its former executive director, Mariana Boneo, with the Amigo Award at its annual Fiesta on Friday, November 13, 2009. The Fiesta will take place at Hampshire Country Club in Mamaroneck from 6:30-10:30 pm.
Mariana Boneo was executive director of the HRC from 2006 until she stepped down in May of this year. Prior to assuming the position of executive director, she was a member of the HRC board, including a year as co- president with John Gitlitz. According to Dr. Gitlitz, “Under Mariana’s leadership, the HRC nearly doubled in size from serving approximately 800 families to the 1600 families we work with today. She was instrumental in the creation of the Worker Center at Strait Gate Church and played a pivotal role during the 2007 floods assisting local residents and helping establish the HRC as the lead social service agency during the crisis.
Dr. Gitlitz adds, “Mariana’s work was always shaped by her deep belief that our mission was to help our clients – whether new immigrants or just people in need — become an integral and accepted part of our community.”
The Amigo Award recognizes Ms. Boneo for her passion, hard work and her ability to connect with people at all levels, whether immigrants struggling to learn the language or corporate leaders interested in sponsoring an HRC program. She implemented workshops to help newly arrived immigrants develop job skills, understand the educational system and learn about such topics as parenting, nutrition and health. She worked with the Mamaroneck School District to launch an adult evening English as a Second Language program at Mamaroneck Avenue School which features enrichment sessions for children while their parents attend class. Because of the children’s enrichment component, it is now easier for parents who need child care to attend class.
The Fiesta is being chaired this year by Liz Liscio, Naomi Lowenthal and Andrea Potash. According to Ms. Liscio, “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to honor Mariana at the Fiesta. We’re also going to be introducing our new executive director, Zoe Colon. Zoe comes to us from Port Chester’s Carver Center and has more than 10 years experience in program development and fundraising with a number of non-profit organizations. She is the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants and knows firsthand the struggles that many of our clients face.”
Ms. Potash adds, “The Fiesta will take place on a Friday night this year and will feature Latin American food, sangria and dancing to the live music of Metro Music. We’ll have a raffle and live auction and something new that we’re calling “Be A Star.” People will be able to buy gifts on the HRC staff wish list such as ESL books, adult computer classes, and gift cards for food to be distributed to clients. These gift items will go on stars displayed at the Fiesta for guests to select from and donors will be entered in a special raffle.”
For further information or to purchase tickets to the Fiesta, please call the Hispanic Resource Center at 835-1512 or visit the website hrclm.org.