Two from Putnam honored by Hispanic Heritage Committee



Norma Pereira and Wilfredo Morel were among those
honored Saturday at Vassar College by the Hudson
Valley Hispanic Heritage Committee

POUGHKEEPSIE – Two Putnam County residents were among those honored
Saturday at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie by the Esperanza Hispanic Heritage
Committee for “breaking barriers within the Latino community through
their dedication and commitment.”

More than 100 people were on hand for the event that recognized Norma
Pereira of Carmel and Wilfredo Morel of Lake Peekskill along with others
residing in Dutchess, Ulster and Columbia counties.
Morel was lauded for his work as a health professional at Hudson River
Health Care in addition to his artistic skills resulting in the establishment
of after school programs for area young people.

Morel is married to Melissa O’Leary, deputy director of the Putnam
Community Action Program headquartered in Brewster.

Pereira was described as a “compassionate advocate and versatile
communicator” who was recently appointed to the Brewster Emergency
Shelter Board of Directors. She also co-founded Putnam’s Community
Connection Program which serves immigrant families relocating to Putnam’s
six towns.

Pereira explained her credo during the award ceremony. “Putnam County,
New York State and our nation must implement an inclusive passageway for
immigrants because justice must be served.”

Norma Vizcarrondo, president of the committee, thanked those attending
for “not only honoring our leaders but to strengthen our communities
as well. It is people like the honorees who empower our children because
today’s youth are our next generation of world changers. We must
treat each other like human beings regardless of the political climate
America currently finds itself in.”


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