Veterans honored by chamber Hispanic Business Group
by Michael Langley
May 01, 2014 | 1737 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Leadership dinner
Attendees of the Community and Scholarship Awards dinner, organized by the Hispanic Business Group of the Tracy Chamber of Commerce, look at the wall honoring Tracy residents who have served in the military at the Tracy Community Center on Saturday. Michael Ellis Langley/Tracy Press
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The theme for the 2014 Community and Scholarship Awards from the Hispanic Business Group of the Tracy Chamber of Commerce was “Answering the Call.” The group not only gave out 12 scholarships to local students but also honored Tracy veterans.

The awards dinner was held Saturday at the Tracy Community Center, 950 East St., and was attended by about 200 business and community leaders, educators and veterans. A Veterans of Foreign Wars-American Legion honor guard opened the ceremony, and keynote speaker Richard Soto titled his speech “Dos Guerras — Two Wars.”

“We are citizens, we are residents and we have stepped to the line when this country was in need,” Soto said of Latino veterans of Tracy who served from World War II and beyond.

The Hispanic Business Group, which has awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships to 110 students since 2004, gave scholarships in five areas.

Martha Mora and Idania Ramirez of Millennium High School and Marina Sanchez of Stein High were given scholarships because of their academic achievement. Ivy Torres-Flores from Millennium and Alex Valencia from West High were granted scholarships for their athletic achievement. West High’s Jasmine Lopez was given a scholarship for her community service. Raul Lara from Tracy High and Geraldine Vasquez of West won health and science scholarships. Yunuhen Bernal from West, Enrique Cardenas from Tracy, Kassandra Guzman of Millennium, and Stein High’s Steven Medina were all awarded El Futuro scholarships.

The group also gave out leadership awards. Duane Vigil, Marine veteran and owner of Vigil’s Computer Service, was given the Business Award. Navy veteran Frank Garcia was named Community Leader for 2014. The Defense Logistics Agency San Joaquin was given the Corporation Award. Air Force veteran Arghary Chakraverty was given the Educator Award. The Inspirational Leader honor was bestowed upon Marine veteran Gary Chavez, and Military Moms of Tracy was named Organization of the Year. Mike Granillo, Kimball High girls basketball coach and Navy veteran, was given the Sports and Athletics Award.

• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at or 830-4231.

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