PRAHD Is Planning Annual Gala

PERTH AMBOY — In continuing with the tradition of recognizing and honoring community members who have helped in the growth and development of the community, the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, Inc. (PRAHD) is holding its 24th Annual Roberto Clemente Gala on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel (Formerly the Woodbridge Hotel & Conference Center), 515 Route 1 South, Iselin.

This year’s banquet is being coordinated by a Planning Committee formed with 23 prominent community leaders who have expressed their desire to assist PRAHD and make this event PRAHD’s strongest fundraising activity of the year.


The banquet honorary chairs are U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, and Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz. This year’s gala co-chairpersons are Myrna Hildebrant, President, Active Nursing Care, Inc. and Nestor Sabogal, Human Resource Manager, Tropical Cheese Industries, Inc. The entertainment co-chairpersons are Lissette Martinez, Social Worker Technician, City of Perth Amboy, Office on Aging and Fran Pacheco, Vice President, Wachovia/A Wells Fargo Company.

Other committee members are: Karyn Berk, RN, Raritan Bay Medical Center; Barbara Booz, Proprietor, Maid of Perth Antiques;  Michael R. D’Agnes, President/CEO, Raritan Bay Medical Center; Dr. Alan Goldsmith, Executive Director, Jewish Renaissance Foundation; Jacqueline Hancock-Pena, AVP, Market Manager, Investor Savings Bank; Stephen Jobin, Executive Director, Raritan Bay Area YMCA; Virginia Lugo, President, Amboy Insurance & Investments; Carlos Martins, Branch Sales Manager, the Provident Bank; Rafael Mendez, President, Tropical Cheese Industries, Inc.; Dianne Rivera, Marketing Liaison, Amerigroup, New Jersey, Inc.; Iris Rodriguez, Manager, Bank of America; Barry Rosengarten, President/CEO, Rosengarten Companies; William Sanchez, Producer, New Jersey Network; Janet Soto, Manager, Sovereign/Santander Bank; Yvonne Taylor, VP-Corporate Cash Manager/Officer the Provident Bank; Felix Velez, Roberto Clemente Display and Ana Maria Zevallos, Zevallos/Skrocki Homes for Funerals.

PRAHD has been in existence since 1974 when it was incorporated by the Hispanic leadership of the Perth Amboy area.  “It began small and today we have grown and expanded to a comprehensive service agency with 19 social service programs that provide a continuum of care for children, youth, elderly and families,” stated Lydia Trinidad, PRAHD’s Executive Director, who has been with the organization for the last 30 years.

During this event, PRAHD will be recognizing three outstanding individuals and one corporation from the community.  An award ceremony will take place, recognizing the following three individuals and corporations: Barbara J. Booz, Maid of Perth Antiques,  for her commitment and dedication to the City of Perth Amboy who will be presented with the Special Recognition Award; Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, President, Hispanic Federation of New York, for her commitment and dedication to the residents of the tri State area, Including the residents of the City of Perth Amboy, who will receive the Outstanding Professional Award; Margarita Pozo, PRAHD employee, for her twenty year’s of commitment and dedication to our organization and the residents of Perth Amboy and the Corporate Award for Outstanding Corporation will be given to Tropical Cheese Industries, Inc., for their commitment and dedication to Middlesex County and the City of Perth Amboy and surrounding areas.

In addition, Felix Velez and Perth Amboy Gallery Center of the Arts Director Olga Batista will display Roberto Clemente memorabilia.

PRAHD invites friends from Perth Amboy and the State of New Jersey to join in the celebration.  Music will be provided by “La Rebellion” who will entertain with Caribbean rhythms and romantic melodies. A raffle will be held for two roundtrip tickets to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic or Florida, donated by Ana Maria Zevallos- Skrocki Homes for Funerals.

For more information, call 1-732-442-1081.

From left to right:
Front Row:
Myrna Hidebrant; Gala Co-Chairperson; Lydia Trinidad, PRAHD Executive Director; Vanessa Mendez, Outstanding Corporation Award, Tropical Cheese Inc; Barbara J. Booz; Special Recognition Award; Margarita Pozo, Outstanding Service Award;Nestor Sabogal, Gala Co-Chairperson.
Second Row:
Robert Duran, PRAHD Board Member; Barry Rosengarten,  Gala Comittee Member; Fran Pacheco; PRAHD Board Vice-Chairperson/Gala Committee Member; Ana Maria Zevallos, PRAHD Board Treasurer/Gala Committe Member; Maria Mercy Martinez, PRAHD Board Member; Dianne Rivera, Gala Committee Member; Virginia Lugo, PRAHD Board Member/Gala Committee Member: Yillian Rosado-Perez, Active Nursing Care, Inc.
Back Row:
Carlos Martins, Gala Committee Member; Lissette Martinez, Gala Committee Member; Robert Durso, PRAHD Chairperson;  Michael R. D’Agnes, Gala Committee Member; Karen Berk, Gala Committee Member.

Photo credit: James Shea

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