La Casa de Puerto Rico, Inc. announced plans for its 11th
annual gala celebration to be held this year at the Wadsworth
Atheneum on Saturday, November 7.
At a press conference last Friday, Oct. 16, Ivette Servera, Chair
of La Casa, introduced John Meehan, President and CEO of Hartford
Hospital who is the honorary chair for the ball and Councilman
Luis A. Ayala to whom the banquet will be dedicated. Ayala is
currently serving his second term on the Hartford City Council.
As chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, Councilman Ayala
has spearheaded a new era of investment in Hartford's historic
park system, and an expansion of recreation programs benefitting
all Hartford residents. He has supported merchants, programs
to increase investment and create jobs in Hartford neighborhoods.
He was instrumental in the installation of the Roberto Clemente
monument and naming Colt Park Baseball Diamond in memory of the
Puerto Rican baseball legend.
Councilman Ayala is past president of the Connecticut Puerto
Rican Parade Committee and has received numerous accolades from
several organizations around the state.
At the ball Juan Daniel Brito, Editor and Publisher of El Extra
News newspaper will be recognized for his more than 20 years
of service to the community.
The keynote speaker for the ball will be Marty Petty, Publisher
and Chief Executive Officer of The Hartford Courant, a Pulitzer
Prize-winner and the oldest continuously published newspaper
in the nation.
Petty has held several administrative positions with The Courant
and has won several awards in photojournalism. She is a member
of several professional newspaper organizations including the
Newspaper Association of America's Partner 2000 Committee, has
served as Pulitzer Prize juror, 1989 and chaired the Pulitzer
photography jury in 1990.
Petty is member of several boards and committees, among which
are the Downtown Council, Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce,
Greater Hartford Arts Council, connecticut Public Television
and she is board president of Hartford's Camp Courant.
La Casa de Puerto Rico, Inc. has always advocated for better
access to resources and services for their constituents, according
to Carmen M. Rodríguez, its executive director. She stated
that "La Casa de Puerto Rico has always served as the fulcrum
for Puerto Rican activism from which educational, health, housing,
economic development and other successful endeavors have sprung."
But the task is greater now than before "due to the present
socio-economic situation that is seriously affecting the Puerto
Rican community," indicated Rodríguez. "La Casa
de Puerto Rico is needed more than ever to assist in the inevitable
transition that the surrounding economic environment requires,"
Persons interested in attending the La Casa de Puerto Rico Ball
may contact: Ms. Maritza Newton-Falcón, La Casa de Puerto
Rico, Inc., 48 Main St., Hartford, CT 06106, Tel (860) 522-7296.