Hispanic Federation Breaks Fundraising Record, Inspires Unity at Benefit Gala

Seven-time Grammy winner Gloria Estefan, world-renowned music producer Emilio Estefan, celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez, American Crime's Benito Martinez, Today Contributor Lilliana Vazquez, actor and singer Carlos Ponce and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio among headliners

Event raises over $2 million in support of Hispanic causes

New York, NY, April 20, 2017 - Hispanic Federation (HF), the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization, tonight celebrated its 27th anniversary at the iconic American Museum of Natural History in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. The gala raised a record-breaking $2 million in support of Hispanic causes and honored individuals and organizations who are making a positive impact in their communities every day.

Under the world-famous blue whale, more than 850 of the nation’s leading public officials, community advocates, media celebrities, and corporate leaders gathered to show their solidarity with the Hispanic community and unite around common values: inclusion, opportunity, diversity, and fairness.

“Our 2017 honorees demonstrate the amazing things we can accomplish when we embrace the values that unite us,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “In these challenging times, we take inspiration from their vision – and the leadership of the hundreds of individuals and institutions who joined us tonight - to take Hispanic causes to heart.”

Five extraordinary institutions and individuals were honored at this year’s benefit event: seven-time Grammy winner Gloria Estefan and world-renowned producer Emilio Estefan, celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez, Morgan Stanley and the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigration Rights.

Hamilton Creator and Star Lin-Manuel Miranda served as Gala Chair. Emcees for the evening were American Crime’s Benito Martinez and TODAY contributor and style expert Lilliana Vazquez. Actor and singer Carlos Ponce was a special presenter. Major League Soccer’s 2016 MVP and New York City Football Club Team Captain David Villa was also on hand to lend his voice and support to the festivities.

The Hispanic Federation’s annual gala is the top benefit event of the Latino community, raising funds that are used to empower and advance the Hispanic community, including civic engagement, economic empowerment, education, the environment, immigration, health, and organizational development.

Grammy Award-winning musician Gloria Estefan, and world-renowned producer Emilio Estefan, accepted the Legacy Award for their decades-long careers uniting people of all backgrounds through the power of their music and example.

“Emilio and I are incredibly honored to be receiving the Legacy Award from the Hispanic Federation, an organization that has been on the forefront of impacting Latino issues for 27 years. We celebrate their amazing accomplishments helping Latino communities throughout our nation and know their advocacy and support will continue to thrive and grow,” said Gloria Estefan.

Morgan Stanley received the Corporate Leadership Award for their dedication to supporting nonprofit organizations serving the Latino community.

“For nearly 20 years, we have supported the work of the Hispanic Federation and this work is more important today than ever,” said Tom Nides, Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley. “A range of ideas and backgrounds is essential to serving our clients in an increasingly diverse nation, so we are honored to receive this recognition.”

Celebrity chef and philanthropist Aarón Sánchez accepted the Premio Orgullo (Pride Award) for his transformative career that has created countless opportunities for Latinos.

"I’m honored to receive the Premio Orgullo Award at the Hispanic Federation’s annual gala. I share the same mission as the Hispanic Federation, to empower, promote, and advance the Hispanic community. Their dedication to celebrating diversity is truly inspiring and the ability to share our rich legacy and culture through food is incredibly gratifying,” said Aarón Sánchez.

The Community Service Award was given to Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights for their steadfast commitment to defend and protect the rights of immigrants.

“The Hispanic Federation is a living testament to what we can accomplish when we work together to help the most vulnerable among us. By recognizing NMCIR, the Hispanic Federation is honoring the thousands of immigrant families who silently struggle every day to assert their basic humanity and dignity through the services that are the right of every New Yorker,” said Angela Fernandez, Esq., Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

Proceeds from the evening’s event will go towards supporting the Federation’s network of 100+ community-based organizations and a range of services in the areas of education, immigration, health care, economic development, civic engagement and the environment.

Several dozen government officials also attended the Hispanic Federation’s gala, including:

• Congressman Darren Soto (FL)
• NYS Secretary of State Rossana Rosado
• NYS Higher Education Services Corporation President Guillermo Linares
• NYS Deputy Secretary of Labor Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava
• NYS Deputy Comptroller Nancy Hernandez
• NYS Senate Leader Jeffrey Klein
• NYS Senator Gustavo Rivera
• NYS Senator Jose Peralta
• NYS Senator Marisol Alcantara
• NYS Assembly Member Francisco P. Moya
• NYS Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo
• NYS Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa
• CT Representative Juan Candelaria
• CT Representative Chris Rosario
• NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
• NYC Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal
• Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
• Suffolk County Deputy Executive Luis Montes
• NYC Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland
• NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso
• NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
• Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez