Twelve to be recognized as Notable Valley Hispanics at Sept. 30 ceremony
Posted: 09/20/2001
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The University of Texas-Pan American Friends of the Library will recognize 12 Rio Grande Valley leaders as "Notable Valley Hispanics" in a special ceremony Sunday, Sept. 30.

The seventh annual "Notable Valley Hispanics" ceremony, which coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), will be at the UTPA Media Theater at 2 p.m.

Inductees will have a biography, photograph and items representing their lives on display at the UTPA Library.

The 12 "Notable Valley Hispanics" for 2001 are Alonzo CantĂș of McAllen, construction; Homero Gallegos of McAllen, counselor; Mayor Baldmar Garza of Rio Grande City, civic affairs; Yvonne "Bonnie" Gonzalez of Mercedes, education and health; Carlota M. Gutierrez of Edinburg, health and education; and Maricela Hernandez of Weslaco, health.

Also be honored is Blanca Estela Meckel of McAllen, MADD; Hector "Tito" Palacios of San Juan, community service; Alma Irene Pena of Weslaco, youth; Judge Rose Guerra Reyna of McAllen, community service; Delisia T. Rios of Mission, migrant workers; and Dr. Robert Sepulveda of Weslaco, medical education.

Inductees must have been born or now live in the Valley and involved in either civic and/or humanitarian activities.

"We are trying to recognize the important people, as well as the people who might be otherwise overlooked," said George Gause, UTPA Special Collections librarian. "I was very impressed to see the large number of people nominated again this year. The number of nominees just seems to be growing every year." Last year's recipients were Jose Luis Betancourt of Corpus Christi, retired U.S. Navy rear admiral; David Champion of Weslaco, Hispanic music events; Irma Garcia of Mission, community service; Mariella Gorena of McAllen, school district and civic organizations; Francisco Guajardo of Edinburg, Llano Grande Research Project; Ricardo Gutierrez of Rio Grande City, government and community activities; Roy De Leon of Mercedes, civic organizations; L. Aron Pena of Edinburg, legal and church groups; and Mario Reyna of McAllen, physical education.

Also, Alejo Salinas Jr. of Edinburg, educator; Ofelia de la Santos of Edinburg, lawyer and civic organizations; Mary Lou Trevino of McAllen, community groups; Rosa Valencia of McAllen, civic programs; Ilda Vasquez of Weslaco, church and community activities; and Miguel Wise, state representative and civic organizations.

For more information on the Notable Valley Hispanics ceremony, contact Gause at 956/381-2799.