This is DAMA’s 16th celebration, and good it was! In the elegant decoration provided by Regency Banquets Hall, we opened the evening with Erika Maldonado as emcee, a multiple Emmy-award winning news anchor for Univision-Chicago. Following her introduction, there were a special performance by the Dominican-American vocalist Omani Harris, and the presentation of the Dr. Ramón García Educational award by Dr. García to Alexandria Kristensen Cabrera, a notable student in sciences at Notre Dame University, Indiana. In his remarks, Dr. García said he was impressed by the strength of Alexandria’s application and future plans in serving the community.
Alexandria in turn said of Dr. Garcia that he is “the utmost example of a devoted and well-rounded Dominican-American leader both in the medical field in the city of Chicago and as a compassionate servant leader in the community as a role model.” We honored two pillars of the Chicago’s Latino community, Dominican-born Dr. Máximo Brito, Vice-Chair of Urban Global Health at UIC, and Cuban descent Luisa Echevarría, Director of Univision’s Community Relations. Both were presented with City of Chicago Resolutions introduced by Alderman Ariel Reboyras, and signed by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and the City Council.
Many visitors from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan joined us; and we were honored with the presence of Chicago’s Dominican Rep. Consul General Dr. Gisselle Castillo-Veremis, and Office of Tourism. In addition to accepting gifts and donations from friends and sponsors, we received generous support from the García Medical Center, Univision-Chicago, the Crown Plaza Hotels from O’Hare and Downers Grove, Carson-Pirie-Scott, Pangea Money Transfer company, Luisa and James McNamara, and Gisselle Castillo-Veremis and Peter Veremis.
We also wish to thank all Americans, Colombians, Cubans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and of course, Dominicans, for coming to celebrate with us.