El Amanecer - Autumn, 2021

The Official Newsletter of The Spanish American Center, Inc.

112 Spruce Street, Leominster, MA 01453

We Honor Our Hispanic Heritage Everyday!

News and Notes From Neddy Fall, 2021

  • The Center continues to be open receiving clients by appointment only, required distance is still being maintained and masks are required for all visitors/clients. 
  • The Summer Youth Program and Grab & Go came to a close on August 13th with total of 27 children participating and 50 Grab & Go meals. On the last day they celebrated the pride of Latin Culture with the participation of Maria Vazquez, storyteller.
  • We prepared meals for seven (7) sites. During July, we prepared 3,749 breakfast and 3,753 lunches. We also continue preparing 240 meals on a weekly basis for homeless.
  • During these two months, we have noticed an increase in families using our food pantry program and in our Domestic Violence Program caseload.
  • At the beginning of September, I started my vacation in the middle of negotiations as we were in the process of purchasing our new addition (132 First St). I want to take this opportunity to thank SAC Board President Miggie Velez, and SAC's Andy Mercik for representing me during the closing process for this new acquisition. I also want to acknowledge and thank Mr. Peter Bovenzi, valued SAC Donor, Mr. Mike Mahan, and Ms. Ruby Vargas of Fidelity Bank (and SAC Board Member), for their help and support during this process!
  • The City of Leominster has granted SAC $100K CDBG funds to continue our efforts to help with COVID related needs specific to Leominster. The funds are to help residents with housing and utility needs. Ten thousand dollars ($10K) were also granted for emergency shelter, Leominster only.
  • The DV Staff was contacted by Bernice Richards from Voices of Truth, (Gardner Domestic Violence Taskforce) a DV agency located in Gardner, MA. She was going to be on Gardner Access show called GCAT CHAT to discuss upcoming local DV events with October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The host of GCAT CHAT was Veronika Patty.
  • The Johnny Appleseed Festival was a great success. Thanks go out to Rick Marchand and the Johnny Appleseed Festival Committee for the donation of $1,000.
  • And I extend my most heartfelt thanks to the City of Leominster and Mayor Mazzarella, Senator McGovern, Senator Cronin and Repesentative Natalie Higgins for the surprise recognition they gave me during the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Thank you to the staff, Board Members, family and friends for being there with me during this celebration. And a very special thank you to the Event Organizing Committee.


Neddy Latimer, Executive Director

Spanish American Center


The Latino Factor in Boston and Beyond


 Virtual Event Only REGISTER HERE

Did you know that if U.S. Latinos were all in one country, their GDP would be ranked 7th in the world? Latinos are the second-fastest growing population in the country, having jumped from 50.5 million people in 2010 to more than 62.1 million citizens today, 18.7% of the country.

Join award-winning veteran journalist Jorge Quiroga on Wednesday, October 27 at 7PM ET as he explores answers to these questions and more, with featured guests including:

  • Diana Campoamor, founder of the Nuestra América Fund (NAF)
  • Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, CEO of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción
  • Dan Rivera, President and CEO of Mass Development and former Mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts

These community leaders will discuss a variety of issues facing Latinos in America -- including voting, those on the political stage and the impact on America’s economy and workforce.

The event is free, but registration is required.

 Reserve your free space today.

This event is presented by GBHGBH WORLD and Latino Equity Fund.

Congressman McGovern at The Spanish American Center

Congressman Jim McGovern was in Leominster, visiting SAC, and 

Passing out flyers in Leominster today to make sure parents are aware that they may be eligible for automatic, direct Child Tax Credit payments thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. I fought for these payments to be included and I am thrilled that they are starting to get distributed to hardworking local families. For more info visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/

Thank you to Making Opportunity Count & The Spanish American Center, Inc. for helping me spread the word about how parents can access these important payments if they don’t receive them automatically

Above, Neddy and Staff member Mickey Guzman with Congressman Jim McGovern

SAC Board Vice President Silvia Taurino with Congressman McGovern

We wish to thank our friends at IC Federal Credit Union for sponsoring a group of our Summer Youth Program participants and Staff for an afternoon of baseball at the Worcester Red Sox, "WOOSOX" game at beautiful new Polar Park! Below are some of the kids enjoying the game, as well as lunch in the adjoining private box facility. It is not everyday that we get to be the guests at Worcester's premier sports attraction. Thank you so much.



to a night of baseball and teambuilding -- thanks to the generosity of our friends at Digital Credit Union. In photo at left, our own Neddy Latimer was singled out for recognition by WOOSOX mascot, SMILEY during a beautiful summer night game at POLAR PARK in Worcester. We thank DCU for their kindness and support to the Spanish American Center throughout the years!


Senator John J. Cronin is in Leominster, Massachusetts.

October 1 at 12:51 PM · 

Yesterday I joined a great crowd in Monument Square to celebrate Latino Heritage month and recognize Neddy Latimer for her remarkable contributions to the city and region at The Spanish American Center, Inc. since 1986!

Whether combating food insecurity, providing resources to women facing domestic violence, or providing English as a Second Language programming to immigrants, Neddy has had a hand in helping thousands of people over her career. She continues to be a role model to all of us. Thank you Neddy! Facebook post State Senator John J Cronin with Representative Natalie Higgins

Visit our Website

SAC Is Recipient of Social Health Determinants Grant from UMass Memorial Health – HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital

"Spanish American Center: Awarded $25,000 to improve the delivery of health care to under-served Latinos by using trained community-based peers and trusted neighbors (promotores) to bridge the gap between Latinos and health-care providers.This funding was made available by the Massachusetts Determination of Need process regulating community investment as hospital capital improvement projects are approved, the hospital said.

"(From left) Aurea Casiano, Case Manager at the Leominster-based Spanish American Center and its Executive Director Netty Latimer stand with Steve Roach, President of HealthAlliance-Clinton

Hospital with the $25,000 donation from the hospital. -The Sentinal & Enterprise, July 13, 2021


Thank You to the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, who has generously awarded The Center a grant of $3500 to undertake staff development and training.



Gardner helping to break the silence

surrounding domestic violence

GARDNER — "The ceremony was too important to allow an early autumn rainstorm to force a delay.

The city formally designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month as Mayor Michael Nicholson read a proclamation during a vigil held inside City Hall. The annual event, which was sponsored by the Gardner Domestic Violence Task Force to honor victims of domestic violence, was originally scheduled to be held on the front steps of the building but was moved inside due to inclement weather.

“It’s very important for us to still have this event even if it is raining outside,” Nicholson said in his remarks during the Oct. 4 ceremony. “Because it’s the people who work in this building, and the people who this building represents, that need to be constantly thinking about domestic violence and the impact that it has on our community. Because our job here is to serve everyone who lives here (and) make sure everyone has a place they are proud to call their home.”

A list of victims in the state who have lost their lives to domestic violence — including seven names from the Gardner area — was read at the event.

“The people whose names are read tonight, the people who are on our minds when we have these events, they were part of this community, too, and their story is our story,” Nicholson said.

A number of local resource organizations — including the Voices of Truth Center, the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Alyssa’s Place, the YWCA of Central Massachusetts and the Spanish-American Center in Leominster — had tables set up at the event.

“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and to make all of the resources that are available known to the community,” said Bernice Richard, president of Voices of Truth and coordinator of the Gardner Domestic Violence Task Force. “We’re here to educate the community about what domestic violence is, and to show that there is support available to the victims and the survivors.”

COVID, isolation exacerbated domestic violence 

The past 18 months have exacerbated the problem of domestic violence in the Greater Gardner area, Richard said.

“COVID has definitely had an impact, especially the isolation,” she said. “Women are starting to come out and open up about their experiences.”

Purple lights to raise awareness

Richard said Gardner is a community that is very supportive of domestic violence victims, noting that several downtown businesses have put up purple lights to raise awareness of the issue and to start a conversation about ways it can be prevented.

“(The lights) help to break the silence, and silence is what keeps women in isolation, and we want them to know that they can talk to people,” she said.

If you need help

Call 911 if you are in danger. 

YWCA Domestic Violence Services 24-hour safe and confidential assistance: Helpline

508-755-9030 and Chatline www.ywcahelp.com

Safe Link state-wide 24-hour Hotline 877-785-2020 " The Gardner News

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