Written by Phil Cerroni
Mexican Americans proudly celebrate Mexican Independence
By Phil Cerroni
The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the American calendar and has a whole battery of ceremonies and tradition that go along with its honored place. On Sep. 15, the Mexican Consulate General in Dallas rented one of the halls in the Irving Convention Center in order to celebrate a different independence day: Mexico’s Independence.
Jesus Contreras, the Consul for Media Affairs, Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas, was more than happy to explain both the historical and the cultural significance of this event.
“Everywhere in the world where there is a Mexican community, a consulate or an embassy of Mexico we celebrate the independence ceremony on the 15th of September,” Contreras said. “For us, this is a great opportunity to get together and show unity, and is a big day for Mexico. Our independence day is actually the 16th of September, but on the night of the 15th our heroes started the independence movement at 12 o’clock so everywhere we have a ceremony, at different hours, but the same ceremony.”
“My sister lives in Boise, Idaho, and we right now she is dancing in front of thousands of people also, doing the same exact celebrating and remembrance of our country,” said Haidy Leal, one of the event’s participants. “Us representing our country and remembering the independence of it and remembering everything we had to go through to get to where we are now. That’s why we celebrate.”
The celebration commemorates “El Grito de la Independencia,” or “Cry of Independence” that was shouted by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in Dolores, Mexico on Sep. 16, 1810. It marked the start of a popular revolt that became known as the Mexican War of Independence and lasted until 1821.
A contemporary aspect of the celebrations in the United States is to act as a counterforce to the negative portrayal of Mexico in the American news.
“We are a big number; Mexico has many things to be proud of,” insisted Contreras. “Sometimes you read the newspapers – things that happen in Mexico – yes, they do happen, but we have much more things in the country to be proud of. That’s what we want to communicate in the community.”
Contreras also insisted that unity among Mexican Americans as Mexicans is key to developing unity as Americans.
“We insist that our people integrate in the United States, and they are integrated in many ways. So first we have to be integrated ourselves, and we’re here and we promote that. One extremely important thing about our community is they’re here because they’re working here. They’re looking for a better like, and they’re communicating with the rest [of the United States]. That’s a way to show how integrated they are by showing their work,” Contreras said.
Haidy Leal echoed Contreras’ words, about Mexican integration into the United States, saying that celebrating the independence of the old country adds a rich layer to life in their new homeland.
“We are not just raised with the American culture, but we have another mindset also, which makes us better Americans,” Leal said. “So we bring the best of the two worlds, and we enrich people with the culture. You don’t go to American Independence Day and say, ‘Let’s dance American.’ We don’t have American music as the ethnicity, American food you think pizza and hamburgers. We have the knowledge of the American side, and we also have the knowledge and the culture of the Mexican side. There are a lot of people even in Texas who are unaware that today is Mexican Independence Day, or they think in Mexico, they speak Mexican.”
Jonathan Tarin pointed out that integrating into a new culture takes time.
“When you’re first generation Hispanic, and you adapt to the American lifestyle, you’re taking on what America is, you’re first language is eventually going to become English,” Tarin said. “These children are going to public schools. Our cities are educating these young kids who at home are more likely being spoke to in Spanish and are answering in English. We take on the lifestyle of Americans. Obviously your parents, your educational levels and the drive that we want to succeed are always going to be implemented into our children and even into us.”
This dual responsibility may be a difficult concept for a fourth generation American or even more so for someone whose family has been in this country since before its independence. For many of us, our cultural pride is American, when we think of American music, we think of the Blues and folk, and American barbecue is pretty unique. At the same time, however, there are many aspects of our own culture that have been passed down through successive generations of Americans from various immigrant cultures. This may be religion or certain foods, but the same spirit of pride that prompts Mexican Americans to celebrate Mexican Independence motivates our own, albeit further removed, traditions.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 19:41
Written by Phil Cerroni
PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America business unit today recognized 100 over-the-road (OTR) drivers on Sep. 19 in the U.S. and Canada who have reached the career milestone of driving more than one million, two million, or three million miles accident-free.
"The Frito-Lay fleet is not only one of the largest private fleets in North America, but also one of the safest," said Bill Simkins, manager, national fleet safety, Frito-Lay North America. "Our drivers attend extensive training programs and consider safety to be their number one priority. We thank this year's Million Milers for their dedication to Frito-Lay and for keeping our roads accident-free every day."
Frito-Lay's Million Milers have high-caliber safety skills honed through regular and robust training and adherence to good driving behaviors. Frito-Lay utilizes skills maneuvering courses, advanced driving simulators and team collaborations on best practices to create a positive safety culture and to help its drivers maintain their skills.
On average it takes a Frito-Lay OTR driver about 12 years to reach the one million mile mark. The company now has more than 500 active Million Milers on the roads daily.
This year, two drivers achieved more than three million accident-free miles and 22 drivers achieved two million miles. Through the Million Milers program and the company's extensive safety efforts, Frito-Lay has seen a 71% decline in total collisions since 2002.
Among those recognized for being Two Million Milers were Raymond Brink, David Jackson and Jim Scott of Irving. Mark Cash and Ken Wright of Irving were recognized as One Million Milers. The Million Milers, along with their families, were recognized by Frito-Lay's top executives at an annual gala at the company's headquarters in Plano.
Source: Frito-Lay North America
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 19:38
Written by Phil Cerroni
The opening awards reception for the Unconditional Love Juried Pet Show on Sep. 9 was well attended by 30 or so artists, family and friends at the Jaycee Park Center for the Arts in Irving. This was the second year the pet show was opened nationally for entry and the exhibit was truly outstanding.
The Juror this year was James R. Spurlock, an outstanding portrait artist, sculptor, muralist and teacher from Granbury. James, a self taught artist, spoke of the fundamentals of drawing, color theory, composition and the overall message that the art work should convey. This show will be on exhibit through Sep. 28. J
This is the second year IAA has participated in the Unconditional Love Art Auction in conjunction with the juried show asking artists if they wish to donate a piece of pet artwork to help raise funds for the Irving Animal Care Campus Animal Assistance Fund, to defray medical costs and help animals to be adopted/rescued. This year we had over $4,260 worth of artwork donated.
Fred Sanderson with the Irving Animal Care Campus was at the Awards reception to present the IACC Award of excellence, provided by IACC. Fred also discussed the Irving Animal Care Campus and partnership with DFW Humane Society and the extraordinary work they are doing there since they opened this new facility over two years ago. They have had an unbelievable amount of visitors come through their doors (3,000+) a month and are finding homes for pets throughout the country. He stated he is especially pleased with this new found alliance with IAA and artists and the outstanding artwork donated. This year’s donations are on exhibit right now at Jaycee Park CFA Galleries and will be moved to IACC at the shows end.
2012 Irving Art Association’s Unconditional Love Juried Pet Show winners are as follows:
Best of Show Barbara Mason, TX Purr-fect Perch
IAA President’s Award Helen Bailey, TX Stalking His First Fish
Gamblin Award Ann Dysinger, OH What Do You Mean YOUR CHAIR?
IACC Award Linda Walke, MN Doggone
OIL / ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
First Place Linda Lucas Hardy, TX Surreptitious Gaze
Second Place Sabine Higgins, TX Are We There Yet?
Third Place Josephine Hodos, OH A Bit Shy
Honorable Mention Debbie Mattison, TX Happiness
WATER & MIXED MEDIA
First Place Sharon Giles, TX Guard Duty
Second Place Stephanie Grimes, SC Ready to Go
Third Place Jane Strong, TX Best Friends
Honorable Mention Jude Delaney, OK Camo Doxies
First Place Geri Dunn, TX Morning Shadows (On Spook)
Second Place Stephen Bolen, TX Bandito
Third Place Beth Lowell, NJ Contented
Honorable Mention Tracy Teeter, KS Leg Warmer
First Place Betsy Perkins, TX Dawn
Second Place Jeffrey Driver, TX Majestic
Third Place Carol Lyon, TX Self Image
Honorable Mention Ellen Whitten, TX Maximus
The Jaycee Park Center for the Arts has a new address, 1975 Puritan Drive, now accessible from the south 183 service road by turning on Bradford and on Puritan at the next corner. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday and Sunday 1-4pm and Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Visit Irving Art Association’s website for more information on other events, shows, workshops, and classes.
Source: Irving Art Association
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 20:13
Written by Phil Cerroni
In a landslide day of giving in North Texas, this community showed its true stripes by donating $14.4 million in 17 hours to 900+ local nonprofits. North Texas Giving Day donations surpassed last year’s results by 35 percent, or an increase of $3.7 million, while the volume of donations made this year versus last year increased by 180 percent. Additionally, 300 more nonprofits benefited this year than last.
“We are absolutely blown away by the record-breaking generosity and goodwill of North Texans,” said Brent Christopher, Communities Foundation of Texas president and CEO. “This is a testament to the strength of our community and our shared desire to make North Texas the most viable, best place to live. We are humbled to say the least.”
This year’s event was worldwide, with donations coming from 14 countries (U.S., Canada, Austria, Brazil, Australia, China, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Germany, France, Nigeria, New Zealand, Finland.) Donations came from as far as 10,500 miles away, and from every state in the U.S.
At the time of this release, some prize winners are still being determined, but known winners include:
The 1929th donation - Dallas Symphony Orchestra, $10,000 thanks to The Dallas Foundation
The 2012th donation - United through Hope, $10,000 thanks to The Dallas Foundation.
$1,000 “Golden Tickets” prizes granted hourly, thanks to Communities Foundation of Texas to Heroes for Children, The Samaritan Inn, Feed by Grace, TAG PTSA, Cornerstone Ranch, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Mission Possible Kids, North Texas Food Bank, Girls on the Run, James L West Alzheimer Center, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Arlington ISD Education Foundation, Big Thought, KERA, University of Dallas, Austin Street Center, and Meals on Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County.
"The magnitude of support nonprofits receive on this one day speaks volumes about how much North Texans care about their community," said Center for Nonprofit Management president Cynthia B. Nunn. “Get Up and Give allows us to raise not only much-needed dollars, but also awareness of the important services that nonprofits provide.”
Launched in 2009 by Communities Foundation of Texas with ongoing support from Center for Nonprofit Management and The Dallas Foundation, DonorBridge is the most comprehensive and free public resource for connecting North Texas nonprofits and supporters. For supporters, DonorBridge simplifies the process of gathering reliable information about nonprofits and community needs, and making charitable donations. For nonprofits, DonorBridge and its annual North Texas Giving Day serve as another awareness-building and fundraising tool. DonorBridge profiles more than 700 nonprofits, and since its inception, has infused more than $19 million into nonprofits serving the 16-county North Texas community. www.donorbridgetx.org for more information, or www.facebook.com/DonorBridge or twitter.com/DonorBridge.
About Communities Foundation of Texas
Creating DonorBridgeTX.org and presenting North Texas Giving Day are two of the many ways Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) serves as a hub for philanthropy in our community. As the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation, CFT works with families, companies and nonprofits to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking initiatives. The foundation professionally manages nearly 900 charitable funds and has awarded over $1.2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953. www.cftexas.org
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 19:37
Written by Phil Cerroni
North Lake College (NLC) hosted the DREAMers Immigration Workshop on Sep. 17. The event offered free consultations with Badmus Law Firm to assist students applying for the “DREAM Deferred Action” program. Officially known as DACA, the program allows qualified applicants to avoid deportation, obtain a driver’s license and find employment or attend school.
“Immigration rules can be very complex and easily misunderstood,” explained Ann Massey Badmus, Attorney at Law and Founding Member of Badmus Law Firm. “It is important that applicants clearly understand the risks and rewards of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”
Workshop topics ranged from how to apply for a Social Security card and Texas driver’s license to students’ rights and obligations with a temporary work card. The event also stressed the importance of researching legal counsel through the American Bar Association, as some attorneys are not experienced in Immigration Law.
“With the new Executive Order, there will be a lot of people out there trying to make some extra bucks,” said NLC Business & Training Services Coordinator Carlene Ross. “It’s important for these students not to listen to…false promises."
Separating fact from fiction, NLC’s South Campus will host a second DREAMers Immigration Workshop this October. For details, contact NLC South Campus at 214-891-1342.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 19:36