El Amanecer - The Sunrise

The Official Newsletter of The Spanish American Center

March, 2022

News and notes from Neddy

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Dear friends,

Welcome to our latest edition of El Amanecer.

With all the growth and activity at the Spanish Center over the past few months we've hardly had the time to update everyone on our news.

As I write this, I am here on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, where my thoughts and plans for the upcoming months are coming together and I am reflecting on what you would most enjoy knowing - our dedicated readers, colleagues and supporters.

During this winter, we have had time to reflect upon the myriad funders who have supported The Spanish American Center who we wish to acknowledge, with our gratitude, on the right.

Also, thank you to all who generously contributed to our Annual Appeal.

So, please scroll down, enjoy the updates, and thank you for your support.



Greater Worcester Community Foundation - 10,000 for ESL class

HRIA (Health Resources in Action) - $50,000 for COVID prevention

United Way of North Central MA - $38,000 for payment towards Food Truck (Comida Para Vecinas/Meals for Neighbors)

Anonymous donor - $15,000

Community Foundation of North Central MA - $60,000 for assistance to clients for payment of critical bills/expenses

Community Foundation of North Central MA - $3495 for Staff Development

Leominster Cultural Council - $1320 for summer enrichment programming

Boston Foundation/Commonwealth Fund - $50,000

Tufts Health Plan - $10,000 unsolicited donation

United Way/ Cold Nights - $250

Attorney General's Office for client assistance for gas heating bills - $20,000

The city of Leominster awarded SAC a second CDBG Grant: $80K for housing & utilities, $5K for shelter and $15K for administration. 

Visit our Website

Upcoming Covid-19 Vaccine Clinics

at Spanish American Center

See us on FACEBOOK

North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce

In January, members of the Chamber staff were given a warm welcome at the Spanish American Center. While touring the Center, they spoke with Neddy Latimer, Executive Director, and Mickey Guzman, Information & Referral Specialist, about the Center’s COVID-19 response, current services, plans for future expansion, and their ongoing partnership with the Chamber. The Center has a strong and long-standing partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the Mt. Wachusett Community College and has engaged to the success of the ACCE's Equitable Credential Attainment Cohort program to increase the number of workers with in-demand credentials and degrees. The Chamber received a grant for National Workforce Training Program, and we are very proud to be part of it. Congratulations to the Chamber!

Keeping Virus at Bay

by Danielle Ray

dray@ sentinelandenterprise.com

Leominster, The Spanish American Center is continuing its pandemic efforts with monthly vaccine clinics and other community outreach programs related to the virus and educating people about it.

“In this time of concern and uncertainty regarding COVID-19, the Spanish American Center continues to encourage our community to be vaccinated and to follow the CDC guidelines,” said longtime SAC Executive Director Neddie Latimer.

SAC hosts vaccine clinics at its 112 Spruce St. location on the last Wednesday of each month, with the next one on Feb. 23. They are typically open from 1 to 4 p.m. but next week’s clinic is special vacation week hours of 11 a. m. to 2 p. m.

“SAC’s footprint spans North Central Mass,” said Donata Martin, a consultant at SAC and Making Opportunity Count. She said it’s important to them to continue offering the clinics and get more people vaccinated.

“The virus and unvaccinated stats for some communities in our area are quite high,” she said. “We want to work with and encourage people, families to test, ‘Get the Vax Fax,’ and vaccinate.

This goes for those involved in domestic violence who are not thinking about this now for themselves and their families, the elderly, disabled and or homebound and shut- ins, and substance abuse and recovery individuals and families.”

Latimer echoed her sentiments, saying the vaccinations “are necessary.”

“It is in our best interest to run clinics here at SAC with the support of so many others to safeguard the health of our clients and the community we serve and each other,” she said. “We feel that this pandemic will not go away without our vaccinations.”

Leominster Health Director Jeffery Stephens said SAC “has been very effective in community outreach” when it comes to the pandemic.

“Having a partner like the Spanish America Center allows us to reach deeper into the community, which helps reduce inequity for people that may have a more difficult time in gaining access to vaccine,” he said.

It joined community partners CENTRO, New-Vue Communities, and UMass Memorial Health to host a virtual town hall last month that was open the public and featured a panel discussion and a question- and- answer session, enabling attendees to ask questions about vaccines and getting vaccinated and learn more about the COVID-19 omicron variant surge.

“We want to provide education and are trying to attract more people to our clinics and those of our partners in the area,” Martin said. “We want to keep the communities apprised of where and when testing and vaccines are happening.”

A mother holds the hand of her young son while he gets vaccinated at the Spanish American Center in Leominster last month.

A young man proudly shows off a SpongeBob SquarePants bandage following a covid-19 vaccine shot in January at the Spanish American Center in Leominster.

A local family fills out paperwork ahead of getting vaccinated last month at the Spanish American Center in Leominster.

Photo credit: Donata Martin

A youngster grins and bears it while getting vaccinated against the coronavirus at the Spanish American Center in Leominster last month.

Sheriff Lew Evangelidis

December 7, 2021 

 Distribution Day - Sheriff's Coat Drive!

Today 100s of BRAND NEW winter coats were delivered to our friends at Gardner CAC, Alyssas Place, Restoration Recovery Center Inc., Leominster Police Department, The Spanish American Center, Inc., and Catholic Charities Worcester County.

A special thank you to generous sponsors for helping us reach so many in need this holiday season!

Sign Up to Stay in Touch


  • Who can enroll? MUST Be Skyview and/or Samoset students.
  •  What is the age groups targeted? 6th and 7th grades
  • What is the cost of participating? No cost.
  • The enrollment contact person? Call SAC at 978 534 3145 ext.107
  • email: SAC After School
  •  Hours of operation? Monday thru Friday 2:30 to 5pm with the exception of school vacation weeks and school district Professional Development days and school closures due to inclement weather.
  • Types of activities provided: schoolwork assistance, science, technology, engineering, arts, math, cooking, nutrition, gardening, financial literacy, and recreation. 
  • This program is funded in part by The Shannon Community Safety Initiative (CSI) and the generosity of individual donors.
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  • Pictured above:
  • Students thanking Staples for donating PPE Products for our SAC Afterschool program
  • Participants enjoying socialization and snacks
  • 26 enrolled thus far!
  • Local artist, Alexander Rodriguez, volunteering an afterschool art program

A Visit From the

WooSox Foundation Brought

Seasonal Joy to our kids!

The WooSox, Minor League Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, is committed to providing donations and reduced/complimentary tickets to community-based organizations and youth athletic programs in Worcester County. The Spanish American Center is fortunate to be one of those organizations chosen by them. Last year, we received complimentary tickets for one of the WooSox' "WEPA" games.  "WEPA" is a slang term initially from Puerto Rico which loosely translates to something really good, or someone being really excited about something (wow, that's great, yeah, keep it up, fantastic, I love it, etc.).  During a "WEPA" baseball game Latino/Hispanic players (sometimes the best players, other times for making the best plays in a week, or for being a good humanitarian, like the great Roberto Clemente was, etc.) are mentioned. 

Most recently, this past Christmas, the WooSox came to SAC with their mascots, one of their best players and marketing managers. They provided presents, gift bags and school supplies to 30 youths from  

SAC, and committed to inviting SAC to at least one of their "WEPA" games. So, let's pray that the present ongoing baseball negotiation talks end soon, so that baseball can resume as desired.   


    Los WooSox, Equipo de los Red Sox en las Ligas Menores, está comprometido a proveer donaciones y entradas complementarias/reducidas a organizaciones comunitarias y a programas atléticos  juveniles en el Condado de Worcester.  El Centro Hispano Americano afortunadamente es uno de las organizaciones que escogeron.  El año pasado, recibimos boletos complementarios para ir a uno de los juegos "WEPA" de los WooSox. "WEPA" es una palabra jerga Puertorriqeña que se usa para significar un hecho bueno o excitación y alegría (muy bien, que fantástico, me gusta mucho).

    Durante un juego de béisbol "WEPA", jugadores Latinos/Hispanos (algunas veces son los mojores jugadores, los que hacen mejores jugadas durante la semana, o por ser buen humanitario, como lo fue Roberto Clemente, etc.) son mencionados.  En estas navidades pasadas, los WooSox vinieron al Centro con sus mascotas, uno de los mejores peloteros y los supervisores de "marketing".

    Ellos le dieron regalos y bolsas con materiales escolares para 30 jóvenes del Centro, y se comprometieron a invitarnos por lo menos a uno de sus juegos "WEPA". Pués vamos a orar para que las negociaciones entre los dueños y los jugadores de béisbol se resuelvan pronto, para que pueda continuar como deseado.  - Miguel Mickey Guzman, SAC Caseworker

THANK YOU WooSox Foundation!

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Welcome new employees:

Domestic Violence Supervisor, Ivelisse Ostolaza  

Domestic Violence Coordinator, Damaris Lopez  

Domestic Violence Advocate,

Sarah Echevarria  

Special Programs, Minin Irizarry

Promotora de Salud, Odalis Richard

The New Commonwealth Fund

Selects SAC For 2021 Inaugural Fund Distributions

The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund (NCF) is a coalition of Black and Brown executives in Massachusetts who have come together to leverage our individual and collective power to work with community organizations and coalitions to address and eliminate systemic racism and racial inequity in our Commonwealth.

We are pleased that NCF has recognized The Spanish American Center and our legacy of civic involvement to promote racial and economic equity in greater Leominster. We extend our gratitude for this funding and support.

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