It’s another beautiful week in the Rio Grande Valley!


Last Tuesday, the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized and honored ten RGV Women of Distinction at an awards dinner at the Double Tree Suites in McAllen.  Cynthia Sakulenzki welcomed guests and introduced our Mistress of Ceremonies, Former President University of Texas Pan American, Dr. Blandina “Bambi” Cardenas Flores.  Recipients included:  Velma Sue De Leon of Memorial Funeral Home & Memorial Event Center; District Judge Letty Lopez; District Judge Rose Guerra-Reyna; Elvia Lozoya, Texas Veterans Leadership Program; Dalinda Alcantar, Edinburg North Avid Instructor; Joyce Zeldis Trevino, Trevino Productions; Yolanda Morado, Texas A&M Agrilfe Extension Starr County Agent;  Sister Norma Pimentel, Sacred Heart Catholic Church; Aleda Reyes, College of Health Care Professions; and Tania Sigala, Beta High School.  Seen at the event were:  Nacole Ricks; Michelle Zamora; Paulino Bernal; Dalilah Garcia; Yolanda Guzman; Veronica Valenzuela; Deborah Cordova; Estella Saenz; Toni Williams; Brent Smith; Marlon Martinez; Danny Diaz; Sharon Almaguer; and many others.  Congratulations!


The RGV Partnership held their Leadership graduation at Nuevo Santander Gallery in McAllen last week.  Graduates of the Leadership class included:  Joshua Cummings, Atlas, Hall & Rodriguez; Jennilee Garza, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Troy Gearhart, Texas Regional Bank; Patty Gonzales, Port of Brownsville; Cledia Hernandez, Texas State Technical College; Katrin Leonard, Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc.; Amy Lynch, Texas State Technical College; Abraham Quiroga, Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, Jennifer Rektorik, Associate Real Estate of Investment; Laura Saenz, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; and Dalilah Garcia, Valley Proud Environmental  Council.  Way to go Class 2016!


The City of Mission passed a comprehensive Smoke-Free ordinance last week thanks to the city council, mayor and city manager.  American Heart Association, Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition, and the American Cancer Society worked together with the city to educate about the effects of second hand smoke.  Thanks to Mayor Beto Salinas; Councilman Dr. Armando O’cana; Councilman Ruben Plata; Councilwoman Jessica Ortega-Ochoa; and Councilwoman Norie Garza for leading the initiative for a smoke-free RGV. 


Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition held their public meeting last Wednesday in Pharr.  Seen at the meeting were:  Martin Castaneda; Miki McCathy; Ricardo Contreras; Gilda Brown; Aleda Reyes; Yolanda Guzman; Jerry Saavedra; Terry Tutchings; Berta Cavazos; Tammie Risica; Melissa Rosales; Jennifer Vasquez; Elsie Perez; Daniel Diaz; Richard Brooks; Denise Gonzalez; Lakesha Brooks; Tina Constante; and others.  Next meeting will be Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Please visit them at


McAllen North Rotary Club held the installation of banquet of new officers last Thursday at Tony Roma’s in McAllen.  New 2016-1017 officers include:  Elaine Hernandez, President; Carlos Vasquez, Past President; Daryln Duren, President-Elect;Linda Wasserman, Sgt. Of Arms; Ana Leonard, Secretary; and Paul Stocker, Treasurer.  Max Grubb led the group in Prayer; while, Joshua Leonard recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Laura Solis had the honor of installing the officers.  The “Unsung Hero Award,” was awarded to Elizabeth Saldivar, with the Hidalgo County Housing Authority.  Congratulations and here’s to a great Rotary year!


Happy anniversary to Viana & John Guillen!  Happy anniversary to Stephanie & Daniel Crain!  Happy anniversary toMarlyee & Steve Alaniz.  Congratulations to Karla & Victor Garza on their wedding! 


This week’s birthdays include:  Celebrating on Monday were Mario Guerra; Larry Spencer; Jaime Cavazos; and Mel Johnstone.  Yesterday Angela Diaz-Millis; Michael Pruneda; Deborah Coronado; and Stephanie Wilson celebrated their birthdays. Today’s birthdays include:  Gayle Neuhaus. Tomorrow’s birthdays include: Benton England; Sandra Vecchio;Cynthia Mills; and Nina Perry. Friday’s birthdays include Cecily Dyer; Willie Martinez; my lovely niece, Rachelle Piper;Norma Diaz; Tita Longoria; and Beverly Stansberry.  Finally, weekend wishes are going out to Denise Harden; Lisa Marie Villarreal; Gerardo Mendoza, Jr.; my dear friend, Clara Chapa; Annabel Barrera; and Danna Guerrero.  Have a fabulous week and I hope to see you soon!            


XoXo, April



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