/PRNewswire/ -- On the 9th of this past October, HOLA successfully celebrated their first 2008 HOLA (Hispanic Outstanding Leadership Achievement) award ceremony at the Doubletree Hotel. With over 150 people in attendance, HOLA recognized the hard work of local leaders and their contribution to the well-being of the Hispanic community in the Central Savannah River Area.
Award recipients were the following:
1. Culture: Asociacion Cultural Hispanoamericana (ACHA)
2. Health: Nancy Shear
3. Education: Maria A. Mallar
4. Organization: Debra McKenzie - Small Business Development Center
5. Youth Leader: Gilbert Lewis
6. Hispanic Friendly Company: Coca-Cola Company
7. Religious Leader: Angel Maestre
8. Entrepreneur: Marilyn Mercado
9. Special Award (Journalist): Anibal Ibarra
10. Special Award (Courage and Determination): Orlando Perez
Volunteers from the Clinica Latina de Salud ALAS were recognized for their arduous labor. These volunteers are doctors, nurses, students, and translators who freely sacrifice their time every third Wednesday of each month in order to help others who need medical attention.
Special guests included Pedro Marin, State Representative, and Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. These two honorable guests both gave speeches to those present that emphasized, using statistics, the impact of Hispanics in the state of Georgia and the importance of their participation in the electoral process. At the same time, HOLA Augusta Newspaper (http://www.holaaugusta.com/) was recognized for its service and commitment to the community.
To culminate, the charismatic and talented Valencian Noelia Zanon took it upon herself to share, for the audience's enjoyment, her beautiful voice in a true artistic performance. Caribbean music and a dance concluded the night.
Without a doubt, the 2008 HOLA awards was able to set a precedent in providing the first event to recognize outstanding Hispanics in the city of Augusta and its neighboring areas.
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