OCTOBER 2016 HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
HONORING RUTH NEGRON GAINES, MSW
September 15 thru October 15 of each year has been designated as Hispanic Heritage Month. “The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15” (Hispanicheritagemonth.gov). It is during this month that many Latino agencies and organizations take the opportunity to hold galas, brunches, award ceremonies and other fund raiser activities.
During Hispanic Heritage Month 2016, NAPRHSW and several of our Long Island sister agencies, were gracious enough to honor Ruth Negron Gaines our former President who passed away late August 2016. It began with our own Award Brunch on October 8th at Lombardi’s on the Sound where we dedicated the brunch in Ruth’s memory and bestowed to Reverend Ryland Gaines, her husband a special memento with Ruth’s picture. Since Ruth’s favorite color was pink, NAPRHSW’S members wore pink ribbons and the hall had pink accents to celebrate Ruth’s life and years of community service.
On October 21st Maria Elisa Cuadra, Executive Director of COPAY in Great Neck honored Ruth’s memory as well honoring NAPRSHW with “The Association Advocacy Award” during their annual awards ceremony. Several members of our organization attended at Marbella Restaurant in Bayside and had a wonderful time enjoying the honors and listening to Raffi sing.
Then on October 28th at Verdi’s of Westbury, the Hispanic Civic Association of Hempstead with George Siberon at the helm held their annual award gala. Mr. Siberon placed a beautiful full page picture of Ruth on their journal’s back page dedicating it to “Ruth Negron Gaines a Great Community Leader.” Her husband was awarded a plaque in her memory. The gala was well attended even Kathleen Rice, United States Representative and Madeline Singas Nassau County
District Attorney stopped in during cocktail hour to mingle with the attendees.
All in all, it was a beautiful heritage month knowing that many others were able to acknowledge and value the contributions of Ruth Negron Gaines not only to NAPRHSW but to the community at large. To all we say thank you, muchisimas gracias and lets continue the pride of Hispanic Heritage Month in the years to come by honoring others who have shown their selflessness in serving others.
Vilma E. Matos, LCSW-R
Second Vice President