Some of the best of New York’s Latino community came out to Queens on the evening of Oct. 16 to celebrate the first Latino Stars Awards & Networking Event, which honored prominent Latino New Yorkers.
“We’ve contributed more than just food and music, right?” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said during the opening ceremony as hundreds of guests took their seats. “We’ve contributed to science, politics and so much more.”
The event, held at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, began at 6 p.m. with a business expo and networking opportunities. It was followed by dinner and an awards ceremony, and concluded with a charity raffle benefiting the nonprofit organization Life’s WORC and Family Center for Autism, helping children and adults with disabilities.
Courier publisher and CEO Victoria Schneps hosted the event alongside two emcees from Fox 5, traffic reporter Ines Rosales and meteorologist Mike Woods. She welcomed Borough President Melinda Katz.
“It’s great to see the Latino community united,” said Thatiana Diaz, who held the title of Miss Dominican Republic U.S. 2013. “When I see all of these great people together in one place it inspires me to make a difference and be like them.”
Among those who were honored were Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president; Geraldo Rivera, a prominent author, attorney and TV anchor; Diana Reyna, deputy borough president of Brooklyn; state Senator Jose Peralta; and City Council member Julissa Ferraras.
Along with Mariachi bands and traditional Spanish dance performances, the event also featured the singing group, Voz a Voz.
The Latin Billboard and Latin Grammy nominee artists began their musical journey in the Dominican Republic in 2005. They released their first album “En Presencia del Futuro” under the record label UBO and later moved to New York City.
In 2007, the group went on a nationwide tour of the U.S. and were nominated in the Latin Billboard awards for Best Pop Album and Group/Duo of the Year. They were also later nominated in the Latin Grammy awards.