UNION, NJ – It was a beautiful Saturday for Union’s 5th Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival, complete with dancing, singing, cultural food vendors and an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship.
“Celebrations like this one today allow us to embrace Union’s rich diversity and our strength we proudly display,” said Union Mayor Michele Delisfort. “I am grateful to live in a township that fosters this uniqueness. We will always continue to welcome and support Hispanic-owned businesses to grow and prosper in Union."
Union resident Patricia Frazier, a 20-year veteran educator, was named the 2020 Hispano of the Year Award recipient. “Patty comes from a family of hard-working individuals,” said Delisfort, “who instilled in her a firm foundation of helping others achieve the American dream.” Delisfort said Frazier created an organization to facilitate and encourage people of Hispanic ancestry to become engaged and true products of the American dream. Frazier established H.O.P.E., the Hispanic Organization for People Empowerment. Frazier’s husband, James, accepted the award on her behalf. “Patty’s heart is with Union,” he said. “She will cherish this award.”
“It’s great that people come out and support this wonderful community,” said State Senator Joseph Cryan. “We all came from somewhere, we came from other countries in the hope of finding the American dream. I’m so glad I live in a community that is as diverse and welcoming as the Township of Union. If you’re here, you’re family."
The highest ranking Latina in the New Jersey General Assembly, Annette Quijano, who represents the 20th District, attended the event. “My grandfather came to New Jersey as a farmworker, looking for the American dream,” said Quijano. “He wanted to make sure his children and grandchildren had the opportunity to get an education and make something better of themselves. I thank him every time I have the opportunity to help someone. It’s so great to share our culture and our love of family.”
“We’re having a wonderful time,” said Maria, who attended the event with her husband and two young children. “We’re having a late lunch and enjoying the dancing, especially the kids.”