COMMERCE CITY CO (ColoradoRapids.com) - The Colorado Rapids unveiled the club's five Hispanic Heroes of our local community at their annual Hispanic Heritage celebration on Sunday which occurred in conjunction with the Rapids' home match vs. the Chicago Fire at Dick's Sporting Goods Park as part of the club's "El Grito" Mexican Independence Weekend celebrations.
The recipients of the Rapids' annual Hispanic Heroes awards were recognized on the field at halftime in front of the crowd were presented with framed awards and received a cash donation in their name to the non-profit organization of their choice.
Presenting the awards to the winners on behalf of the Rapids were Kroenke Sports Enterprises Executive Vice President Paul Andrews and the Mexican Consul of Colorado Eduardo Arnal.
Leading up to the event Rapids fans had the opportunity to nominate individuals that promote leadership family values and humanity through involvement in our local community. From those nominations five winners were chosen to receive the awards as voted upon voted upon by members of the KSE Latino Advisory Coalition.
Honorees were selected from categories including youth service community service health and wellness education and the corporate sector.
MEET THE COLORADO RAPIDS 2008 HISPANIC HEROES!
Luis Villarreal was named Rapids Hispanic Hero in Youth Service for the work he does to transform the lives of the youth through mentor relationships. In response to the rise of street violence and gang activity in Denver Luis created a foundation called "Save Our Youth". Through this foundation he has helped serve over 500 at-risk kids a year since 1995.
Art Zamora was honored as Rapids Hispanic Hero for his commitment to Community Services. With 20 years of dedication to the elderly Art is a premier advocate for the needs and issues facing seniors in communities across Colorado. His work helps give thousands of adults the ability to maximize their personal independence and dignity allowing them to live more comfortably in their own home as they age.
Brenda Vasquez won her Rapids Hispanic Hero award as an outstanding volunteer in Health and Wellness. She has been involved with "Le Clinica Tepeyac" since its inception in 1994 and has served over 18000 people in need of medical attention. Her enthusiasm guidance and vision have been instrumental in providing culturally competent health care and preventative health services.
Frank Sandoval a Rapids Hispanic Hero in the Corporate Sector was honored for the work he has done to bring the services of the Ronald McDonald House to Denver. He was a founding member of the first house in 1979 and has since lent his tireless enthusiasm and commitment to the organization. His dedication has helped open a second Ronald McDonald house in Aurora this past April.
Joe Garcia President of Colorado State University Pueblo was named a Rapids Hispanic Hero in the field of Education. He values his students and has transformed the CSU-Pueblo campus and college experience. Under his leadership the 2009 freshman class will have new modern housing accommodation a variety of intercollegiate athletic programs are being re-introduced and this year's student population is up nearly 15% under his guidance.
The Rapids strongly believe in the importance of community involvement and applaud all individuals who devote their time and energy to helping others in need here.
Congratulations to the 2008 Colorado Rapids Hispanic Heroes and thanks to all the fans who submitted nominations!