Wildaliz and her brother Pedro Bermudez, receive the Maria Sanchez Award! This is the first time in CT history for two siblings to simultaneously receive this recognition on behalf of the Puerto Rican Parade Connecticut Chapter. Wildaliz received the Maria Sanchez Leadership Award.
Pedro received the Arts & Culture Award. Pedro recently premiered his film about a Puerto Rican family called "Hasta manana" after writing, directing and filming in Hartford's Park Street. His work can be found at www.Revisionistfilms.com
Other awardees included: Karla Cruz for recognition in Youth Services, Melvyn Colon for Community Service, Leslie Torres-Rodriguez for Education Award and the Hartford Boxing Center for their commitment to Youth Services.
Maria Sanchez was affectionately known as la madrina (the god mother) of the Hartford Puerto Rican community. Maria Clemencia Colon Sanchez served the city as advocate, listener and mentor and earned tremendous respect citywide. As an activist, Sanchez founded the Puerto Rican Parade Committee in 1964 and co-founded La Casa de Puerto Rico, the Society of Legal Services, the Spanish-American Merchants Association, the Puerto Rican Businessmen Association, and the Community Renewal Team. Along with her extensive work in community activism, Sanchez is most closely associated with education reform, an issue she was extremely passionate about. In 1988, Sanchez became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. She served in this position until her sudden death on November 25, 1989.
*The Maria Sanchez Scholarship and Awards Banquet would not be possible without the hard work of the CICD Puerto Rican Parade, Inc Connecticut Chapter.