WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- More than 150 supporters gathered to celebrate the second annual Latino U College Access benefit, Visiones, on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the CV Rich Mansion in White Plains.
Distinguished guests who gathered for the benefit included Iris Pagan, executive director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau; Dorothy Escribano, provost of The College of New Rochelle; Elizabeth Hollahan, executive director of the White Plains Library Foundation; and Joe Torres, WABC "Eyewitness News" anchor and Bedford resident, who served as master of ceremonies.
The evening, doubling in size since its inaugural benefit, had art, music and tapas. The spike in support will further Latino U's mission to increase university enrollment and completion rates among deserving Latino high school seniors in Westchester County who will be the first in their families to attend college.
"Because of your support and faith in the transformative power of education, we have begun to change lives and make college dreams a reality," said Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, Latino U College Access founder and executive director.
Buontempo, a Somers resident, was joined by Connie Grossman, Latino U board president, in making a special presentation of the nonprofit's inaugural Community Partner Award to Dunbar Educational Consultants of New Canaan, Conn.
Accepting for Dunbar were Robert Cummings and Rick Dickson, who also were praised in a "special greeting" from U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, represented at the festivities by Sarah Reingold, Hudson Valley regional assistant.
Other collaborators with Latino U include Logic Prep of Armonk; the Westchester school districts of Ossining, Tarrytown and White Plains; the White Plains Public Library; Mount Kisco Public Library; and numerous community organizations.
Throughout the evening's festivities, jazz and flamenco music was played by Talisman amid an art installation by Grupo Mitzli, and tapas and sangria were among the menu prepared by Caperberry Events and Catering of White Plains.
Major sponsors of the October 30th event were Tompkins Mahopac Bank and The College of New Rochelle. Other sponsors included The Matrix Group, ONYX and Open Door Family Medical Centers.
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