by Gary Axelbank
December 3, 2018
Bronx Puerto Rican roots were on glorious display at Lehman College on Saturday at the Bronx Puerto Rican Parade 2018 Holiday Benefit Concert. Two hundred-and-fifty people packed the college’s music building for a luncheon and then fantastic concert that was as much about Puerto Rican culture as it was about unity and commitment.
All proceeds (which were still being tabulated at press time) were earmarked for a week-long March 2019 trip by fourteen Lehman L.I.F. E. students to Humacao, Puerto Rico who will help build and supply an afterschool program.
Daniel, a Lehman student who took a moment out from the luncheon to speak with thisistheBronX on Facebook LIVE said that like many Puerto Ricans, his roots are deep and collective work is needed to rebuild the island after Hurricane Maria.
“My mom is studying to be a nurse and my dad was military, so as far as my family is concerned, I’ve always been wanting to help people and do what I can to get back to the community,” he said. “Even though it’s only been a year later, people still need to do what they can to get back to where they were.”
Rosemary Colon, who is the Queen of the Puerto Rican Parade two years running, said, “Puerto Rico is still in a hole and the students are trying to make an afterschool program for the kids over there so there won’t be hanging out in the street and they have a place to go.”
Here’s a report by News 12 that shows footage of the concert:
Featured performances in the concert included Ayodele Casel, Dancers Dreamzzz, Los Hermanos Colon, and Candela. In addition to the concert, the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade presented awards to their 2018-2019 honorees:
- Woman of the Year Award — Maritza Martinez, former Bronx Puerto Day Parade Pageant Coordinator
- Business of the Year Award — Maria’s Pet Shop & Grooming (Maria Agrinsonic)
- Community Service Award — Amanda Dubois-Mwake, Lehman College Director of Community Engagement
- “Man of the Year” Award — Ruben A. Rios, Chair of the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade
- “Educator of the Year” Award — Jose Luis Cruz, Lehman College President
- “Borinquen Voice of the Year” Award — Candela
- “Media Personality of the Year” Award — Darlene Rodriguez, Anchor for WNBC’s Today in New York