For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2018


Bergen County Hosts Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration


(Hackensack) – Since 1988, the period between September 15 and October 15 has been celebrated as Hispanic Heritage Month, coinciding with the Independence Days of eight Latin American nations. Last night, the County of Bergen held its annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration event. 

The event featured a keynote address from Francisco Rodriguez, partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins.


Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Freeholder Vice Chair Germaine Ortiz, and Bergen County Latino Advisory Board Chair Tony Villalobos delivered remarks as well.


Pastor Christian Allen of the House of Worship in Garfield gave the invocation and Reverend Gabriel Perdomo, Parochial Vicar of the Corpus Christi Parish in Hasbrouck Heights, gave the benediction. Event guests enjoyed cultural performances from Lula Valdivia, Saay Mi Llajta, and Orquidea de Oro de Colombia—Nurys Capello.  


The event also recognized 7 Bergen County Hispanic Americans:

  • Desiree Ramos Reiner, Chief Regional Extern
  • Desiree Ramos Reiner, Cheif Regional External Affairs Officer of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, received the Humanitarian Service Award
  • Tomas J. Padilla, Borough Administrator of Woodcliff Lake, and Joseph Barreto, Bergen Community College Trustee, received Community Service Awards
  • Fernando and Deborah Lopez, owners of Lolita’s Mexican Cantina in Westwood, received Business Contribution Awards
  • Boris Gavilanes, a Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer, received the Law Enforcement Contribution Award
  • Yahaira Padilla, Staff Sergeant—United States Army, received the Military Service Award