AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Wesley Community Center, which is located in the heart of the Los Barrios, serves as a hub for Amarillo's Hispanic community.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the center hosted a luncheon today that recognized those making a difference.
"It's a great way of celebrating Hispanics and what they've done in our community," said Committee Member of the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon Mary Bralley. "So we've got business leaders and we've got volunteers and just so many people that really impact our community."
The seven award recipients were nominated by their peers based upon how their works unify the community.
"And everyday, I get to lay my head down and think to myself, we won. We win because we're pushing people to be better people," said 2017 Hispanic Man of the Year and Pastor at Power Church Manny DeLosSantos.
"I want to take this time to encourage you, to challenge you to be a mentor and to be an advocate," said the recipient of 2017 Rising Star Melissa Carnero. "Be a supporter, be a cheerleader for those that are truly in need."
The recipient of the Heart of the Barrio was Constable Georgia Estrada. She stored items for Potter County Precinct's Hurricane Harvey Drive in the Wesley Center before it was sent to fellow Texans in disaster.
"We partner and we pull things together and we get it done," said Estrada. "That's how I was raised, we see a need, we get it done."
The keynote speaker Pedro Mendez says he has watched the center grow since its inception in 1951. He credits those who use the services provided as the driving force that'll allow its impact to live on within Los Barrios hundreds of years from now.
"Take advantage of Wesley Community Center. It's here for you and the kids," said Mendez. "Please participate and do everything you can to keep it going, but we need it this part of town need real bad. The children need it. The adults, we all need it. So, it's really a Godsend."
Those honored today credited the Wesley Community Center as the drive that leads their good works.
Here is a list of the 2017 Hispanic Luncheon Award Recipients:
- Rising Star Award - Melissa Carnero
- Heart of the Barrio Award - Georgia Estrada
- Business Community Service Award - David's Quality Electric
- Hispanic Woman of the Year Award - Liz Rascon Alaniz
- Hispanic Man of the Year Award -Manny DeLosSantos
- Lifetime Achievement Award - Elia Moreno
- Youth Leader Award - Aleigha Jaloma