As we all know, Hispanics know how to spice up an event. Their rich culture, radiant energy and exotic beauty demands it. And those who celebrate with them can party even more! Twenty years ago, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County launched their signature event called Triunfo [Triumph] Awards Gala, an elegant night where business leaders in our community come together to honor one another’s triumphs and commemorate another year in the chamber’s history.
This year’s gala, entitled “Las Vegas Stars: Casino Night,” will take place on April 22 at the new Hilton Majestic Hotel in West Palm Beach. The hotel’s ballroom will be transformed into a casino extravaganza, with Las Vegas like-dancers, live music and entertainment, as well as delicious food and cocktails. As part of this event, they will also conduct a silent auction, where attendees will get a chance to bid on an assortment of fantastic items from hotel accommodation, theater and restaurant certificates, to jewelry, spa and salon services, sporting goods, travel and other fabulous items.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Triunfo education scholarships, which are presented later in May at the Hispanic Chamber Education Awards to several high school students to help them successfully prepare for college.
The Chamber’s goal has been to help shape the futures of the best and brightest Hispanic students in our community by improving their academic outcomes. “This year, our goal is to exceed the number of awarded scholarships,” said Maria S. Antuña, CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County. In the last 20 years, the Hispanic Chamber has awarded thousands of scholarships totaling more than $120,000. Last year, they had over 325 people attending Triunfo, and a portion of the funds raised that night were used to award the Luciano Martinez Scholarship to the following six high school seniors in our community:
• Mark Marquez—$1,250
• Melanie Camejo-Coffigny – $1,250
• Samira Francois – $1,250
• Sara Alfaro – $1,250
• Wendyvette Edwards $2,500
• Nancy Garcia – $1,250
Luciano Martinez (1948-2003) was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to Miami when he was twelve. Years later, he founded the Hispanic Human Resources Council Inc. in West Palm Beach. Martinez united Cuban-American factions in 1996 by merging competing organizations into the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, which grew to 500 members by 2007. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce established the Luciano Martinez Triunfo Scholarship Fund in his memory.
Luciano was also the founder of Luciano Martinez School, a nursery school for the underprivileged kids in our community. Daily breakfast and lunch are provided to the children, who are prepared to enter Pre-K or Kindergarten in a neighboring school once they meet the appropriate school age.
Applications for the Luciano Martinez Scholarship are provided to all Palm Beach County schools, and are now available on www.hispanicchamberpbc.com. High school students interested must apply online, and meet a certain criteria including: an above average grade point average, a specific number of community service hours, and letters of recommendations from their school teachers or administrators.
While Triunfo is The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s signature event, that’s not all they do for Palm Beach County’s Hispanic community. Their ultimate function has been the same from day one—to connect the business community. If you’re a small business owner and you’re launching a marketing campaign and need a graphics designer and a printer, they can connect you with one of their members. “Our hope is that if we work together, we are going to create great relationships, offer each other services, help one another, and in the process we build a stronger community,” said Antuña.
If you haven’t been to Triunfo Awards Gala, here’s what it is like…
Triunfo Awards Gala (2016, 19th edition)
Apart from being a gateway to connecting and growing business to the Hispanic community, the nonprofit Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County offers monthly networking events, power networking luncheons, and business training in the form of classes and workshops to empower its community. Currently, they offer a series of classes at the Summit Library, including a workshop on how to prepare a business plan. Who to call, what to do, and where to go to get funding for a small business loan are some of the lessons that will be taught by professional business men and women.
Triunfo celebrates the extraordinary impact that the chamber makes in the lives of its members.
More information about Triunfo, including tickets or sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.hispanicchamberpbc.com or by calling 561.832.1986.
Triunfo Awards Gala is a signature annual event produced by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches to help with scholarships for local students.