On Sunday, October 11, community leaders gathered to celebrate the birthday of veteran community leader, Antonio “Tony” Irizarry, a pioneer in celebrating Latino culture and history. He has made his birthday a celebration of Día de la Raza inviting musicians representing music of the Americas and of honoring community leaders. Sandra Wilson opened the event, followed by Tony’s opening remarks about el Día de la Raza. He reclaimed the historic struggle of many peoples to inspire the call of a united force. Ray Rubio, by request, sang El Viejo for Irizarry, which was followed by his wife’s recital of Llorens Torres poem. José E. López, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, among other community leaders, made celebratory remarks.
The event concluded with the honoring of Freddy Reyes with the Golden Premio Nuestro. While Irizarry has given the award many times over the years, this one went to Reyes for his extensive contributions to the Puerto Rican and Latino community.
By Erika Abad