Gala Celebrates Portuguese Leaders

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More than 450 leaders and representatives of the Portuguese community in New York gathered at the Portuguese American Center of Farmingville for the annual NYPALC Portugal Day Gala on Saturday, May 6.

The New York Portuguese American Leadership Conference (NYPALC) is the association of Portuguese organizations in the state of New York. Currently with 62 member organizations, NYPALC represents more than 180,000 Portuguese and Portuguese-Americans with the mission to represent, promote and defend the interests and rights of the Portuguese community in New York.

(Photos by Jessica Azevedo )

The annual event honors the member-organizations’ leaders and students for their amazing contribution to the enhancement of the New York Portuguese community—recognizing leaders for their key role in understanding the importance of an empowered, strong and united community.

It was also a memorable event where the New York Portuguese community had the opportunity to honor former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Robert A. Sherman and Luso American Foundation for Development’s Executive Director Kim Sawyer and to acknowledge their crucial role as exemplary diplomats to Portugal and thank them for the love they extend to Portugal and the Portuguese. The event also marks the official beginning of the celebrations for the “Day of Portugal, of Camoes and of the Communities” in New York.

NYPALC President Isabelle Marques with the 2017 Scholarship recipients, which include Mineola’s Sara Costa of Escola Julio Dinis (fourth from left).

The 2017 NYPALC award winners were: Mineola’s Renato Fantasma Tavares (Man of the Year), Julia DaSilva, Mineola’s Joseph Saramago (Young Man of the Year), Sonia Reis, Mineola’s Luis Tinoco and Ashley Pereira (Young Promise Award), Frank Texeira of Mineola (Organization President of the Year), Tony DaSilva of Mineola (Educator of the Year Award), Big Al’s Munchies, Moses Saraiva, Dennis Walsh, Rosa Leal and Antonio Rodrigues (posthumously).

During the gala, eight NYPALC academic scholarships of $1,000 each were also attributed, including one to Sara Costa (Escola Julio Dinis—Mineola). The NYPALC scholarship program was created to support Portuguese students or descendants learn the Portuguese language and Portuguese culture through a school member NYPALC. The scholarships are academic merit-based and are granted to students who have demonstrated an exceptional academic level achievement while students of our member schools.

NYPALC President Isabelle Marques presents Ambassador Sherman with the 2017 President’s Award on behalf of the community in New York.

The event had the official support of the Town of Brookhaven, Village of Mineola, City of Yonkers, Mayor Mike Spano, Westchester County Government, the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate and the U.S. Congress.

—Submitted by NYPALC

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