2016 Tribuna’s American Dream Awards Gala to Celebrate the Essence of America

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish

By Celia Palmares


In the words of Condoleezza Rice, “The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity or nationality or religion — it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.” On May 14, 2016, at 6 PM at the Amber Room Colonnade, Tribuna Newspaper invites all to celebrate that essence in the life stories of members of our community.

In 2014, in celebration of its 15th Anniversary, Tribuna Newspaper, a biweekly publication in English, Portuguese and Spanish, created the American Dream Awards Gala. The annual awards ceremony was designed to recognize members of the community who share in my story.

I am a Brazilian–American who migrated to the United States over two decades ago, worked as house cleaner and became the founder and publisher of the largest trilingual publication in the state of Connecticut.

The elegant evening, adorned in red, white and blue in honor of Memorial Day, will feature esteemed speakers and inspiring awardees, joined by over 300 guests, donors and supporters. To date, $46,000 has been given in scholarships, awards and donations to the community through the event.

This year, we will be presenting $2,000 awards to one American Dream Person of the Year, one American Dream Veteran of the Year and three American Dream Students of the Year Awards to immigrants or children of immigrants who have faced many challenges along their journey to achieve their American Dream.

From 52 applications, eight finalists were chosen. It brings me great pleasure to announce the finalists for the 2016 American Dream Awards: Angelica Crespo from Ecuador, Anna Fernandes from Brazil, Choi Ying Wong from China, Evelin Garcia from Mexico, Gustavo Porto from Brazil and Neli Pani from Ecuador for Student of the Year; David Quenah from Liberia and Rosa Gutierrez from Puerto Rico for Person of the Year. Winners will be revealed on the night of the gala.

We will also be honoring Anthony Rizzo of Rizzo Enterprises with the American Dream Lifetime Achievement Award.

American Dream Leadership Awards will be presented to: 

Glover Teixeira, Brazilian native, Danbury resident and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, for his work in and out of the octagon and inspirational personal story from day laborer to world champion.

The City of Danbury, for the creation of Heritage Plaza, celebrating Danbury’s history and cultural diversity.

The Hispanic Federation, for its work in fostering a non-partisan dialogue around crucial issues affecting the Latino community in Connecticut.

Dr. Majid Sadigh, Danbury Hospital Director of Global Health, for his work in Liberia as part of a team of healthcare providers working to fight Ebola.

Join us! Help us celebrate the life stories of these valuable members of our community. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, to support and advance the programs and services that it provides to our community through Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital. Tickets will be $85.00 per person, including cocktail hour, a three-course dinner and a cash bar. Buy your ticket today! Visit or call 203.730.0457

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