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Community Leaders Earn Recognition During Hispanic Heritage Month Festivities

Melbourne, FL, September 19, 2014 - On Saturday, October 11, 2014, Brevard County residents will celebrate the 3rd Annual Viva Brevard Festival in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th through October 15th. On October 4th at the Viva Brevard Gala, Congressman Bill Posey will be the keynote speaker and present Congressional Medals of Recognition to four local Hispanic leaders for their service to our community.

“Viva Brevard brings our community together to experience diverse cultures from Latin American countries, enjoy some great local cuisine and spend time with our families and neighbors,” said Congressman Posey. “Hispanic Heritage Month gives us all a chance to reflect on the rich contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to our nation in so many fields including: science, medicine, military and public service, sports, and entertainment.”

“This is a great opportunity for us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and to support a great cause, which is the Brevard Hispanic Center,” said Javier Molinares, president of the Brevard Hispanic Center, president of the Space Coast Paratroopers Association and publisher of the bilingual newspaper AL DIA TODAY, a publication that is celebrating its 10th Anniversary! “I invite everyone to have a good time with great food, wonderful people and the best of the Latin music.”

Viva Brevard will be a day full of great Latin American cuisine, culture and entertainment. It is the first event held in Brevard County to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. Viva Brevard will take place near the Ted Whitlock Community Center in Palm Bay Regional Park, which is located in the City of Palm Bay, Florida. Festivities will run from 11AM to 6PM.

At the Gala, Congressman Posey will present a special Congressional Medal of Recognition to:

The late Raul Rivera (USA Ret.) of Palm Bay: A decorated US Army veteran, who participated in the Korean War and three tours in Vietnam, helped found the Spanish American Veterans Association (SAVA) in 1991. The purposes of SAVA is identifying, finding and uniting those who have served or are serving honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and are of Spanish origin. Ms. Pura Rivera will receive the award for her late husband.

The late Alfredo Teran of Cocoa Beach: After graduating from Newark College of Engineering, he was recruited by NASA. His career continued with EG&G and later on, he started his own company AJT & Associates, Inc. in Brevard County, where he developed his water technology, which was his passion. Ms. Monica Teran will be present to receive the award for her husband.

The late Fernando Esparza of Satellite Beach: When Fernando Esparza moved here in 1962, Hispanics were a novelty in Brevard County. In 1950, Esparza enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a jet mechanic during the Korean War. He earned a B.A in Mathematics, was hired by NASA to recruit Hispanics into the engineering field, and later formed his own software development business. He has remained involved in Hispanic organizations including Image, the Incorporated Mexican Americans Government Employees group, and the Spanish-American Veterans Association. Mr. Esparza’s family will be present to receive the award for him.

Arcadio Santiago-Rodriquez, Palm Bay: Arcadio served in our nation’s military for 30 years and served in the Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers, earning the Silver Star for courageous actions during the Korean War. In May of this year President signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Posey to recognize the Borinqueneers as a unit with the Congressional Gold Medal.

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