Senator Owen H. Johnson presented Legislative Citations to two local residents at the Town of Babylon’s 12th Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival on October 23, 2010 at the Babylon Town Hall.
Angel Ortiz, from Islip Terrace, is a Senior Advocate for the Suffolk County Office of the Aging. He was honored for his commitment to Seniors and his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their concerns are handled with professionalism and efficiency. Mr. Ortiz is well respected and loved at the Town of Babylon’s Spangle Drive Senior Center. He was raised by parents who moved from Puerto Rico to Central Islip to raise their family. Mr. Ortiz has one five year old daughter, Angelina Marie.
Also honored was Melissa Santos Asbell, who returned to teach in her hometown of Amityville in 1993, and is currently a third grade teacher at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School. Ms. Asbell is the Director of the Amityville Memorial High School’s Drama Club and is an accomplished singer as well, having performed with well-known recording artists. She was honored for her dedication to the children of the Amityville community. Melissa was raised by a Portuguese father and a Dominican mother in Amityville and now shares her life with her husband Gerald and their daughter Tiffany.
This year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month was “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity & Honor: The Renewed Hope of America.” The annual month long celebration embraces the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Left to right: Mel Guadalupe, Director, Suffolk County Office of Minority Affairs; Senator Owen H. Johnson; Jacqueline Gordon, Councilwoman, Town of Babylon; Deanna Marshall, Director, Suffolk County Women’s Services; Angel Ortiz, honoree; Melissa Santos Asbell, honoree; Antonio Martinez, Councilman, Town of Babylon; Wayne Horsley, Suffolk County Legislator; Madeline Bayton, Commissioner of Human Services, Town of Babylon; Honorable Toni A. Bean, Suffolk County Court Judge; and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney.