Centro Hispano of Dane County will host its 40th annual celebration at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center on Thursday, Dec. 7 where it will honor outstanding local leaders and tell the story of its journey of growth throughout four decades.

Centro Hispano of Dane County was founded in 1983 by Ilda C. Thomas and volunteers to meet the emergent needs of Cuban refugees. Over the years, the non-profit has grown to become the leading organization dedicated to empowering the Latinx population in Dane County.

“The celebration will feature a retrospective on Centro Hispano’s growth over the years, highlighting the agency’s achievements and the positive changes it has brought to the community,” Centro Hispano said in a press release on Wednesday. “The event promises to be a joyous occasion, bringing together community leaders, supporters, and friends to celebrate the achievements of Centro Hispano and its ongoing commitment to serving the Latinx population.”

Five outstanding community members who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the Latinx community will be honored at the event, according to a press release from Centro, including:

The Ilda Contreris Thomas Award will be presented to Stephanie Krook, Bilingual Support Specialist for RISE Wisconsin.
The award is named after Centro Hispano of Dane County’s founder and represents someone, who with humility and through values that align with Centro, ensures a strong Latinx voice.

The Roberto G. Sanchez Award will be presented to Rosemary Barrientos-Irigoyen an ELL social worker at Vel Phillips Memorial High School. This award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership in advancing educational and career opportunities for Latinx in Dane County.

The Mario Garcia Sierra Young Dreamer Award will be presented to Stephanie Salgado Altamirano, a Madison organizer for Voces de la Frontera. The award is given to a young person who has completed their education and reached their goals and dreams while contributing significantly to the community through their leadership.

The Marcus S. Miles Volunteer Award will be presented to Jason J Knutson of Habush Habush & Rottier. The award is given in honor of community photographer Marcus S. Miles to a volunteer who significantly helped to advance Centro’s goals and mission through their talents and expertise.

The Centro Visionary Award will be presented to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. The award is given to a person who consistently strives for Centro’s greater vision of a thriving Latinx community in Dane County and who is deeply committed to the agency’s role in helping to advance this vision across multiple sectors.

For more information about the Centro Hispano 40th anniversary celebration, e-mail [email protected] For tickets, click here.