On Wednesday, October 6th, the Brooksville Woman’s Club celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. Members and guests enjoyed a luncheon that included traditional Hispanic dishes, such as pulled pork and fried plantains. Wevlyn Graves, president of the club, read a proclamation from the County Commission. It stated in part, “Florida has the third largest population of Hispanics in the country with 26.4% in the state and 14.8% in Hernando County. Hispanics in the United States have helped establish America as a place of freedom and opportunity and continue to enrich our nation’s character.”
The observance began in 1968 under Lyndon Johnson’s administration when Congress authorized the president to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Two decades later, under President Ronald Reagan, lawmakers expanded it to a month-long celebration, stretching from September 15th to October 15th. The purpose was to recognize the contributions made by Hispanic-Americans to our country’s history and culture.
Guest speaker at the event was Dr. Noemi De La Rosa, retired professor from Pasco-Hernando State College. A native of Puerto Rico, she recounted the reason that September 15th to October 15th were chosen as Hispanic Heritage Month. September 15th marks the independence of five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence September 16th and September 18th, respectively.
“I am very proud to be a Puerto Rican and to be an American,” Dr. De La Rosa stated. She also related that here in Hernando County we have several Hispanic organizations. The Latin American Civic and Cultural Association, which just celebrated its 79th anniversary is the oldest Hispanic organization in the county.
Dr. De La Rosa mentioned that there are numerous Hispanic-Americans in science, sports, arts and other fields. As a matter of fact, there are thirteen Hispanics that have gone into space and one Latina sitting on the Supreme Court – Sonia Sotomayor.
After Dr. De La Rosa’s speech, Ms. Graves conducted the regular club business. She announced the schedule for their upcoming meetings, which always include lunch. She also introduced a new member who is starting a business in Brooksville. Patria Dye and her husband Tom are opening up Profound Revelations Recording Studios. They will be focusing on providing state-of-the-art sound equipment for musicians, podcasters, as well as providing rehearsal space.
The Historic Brooksville Woman’s Club, founded in 1910 and practices its motto: “Unity in Diversity.” Members make up diverse age and ethnic groups and even diverse political viewpoints. It’s not just a social club. The organization has several causes they support, such as Habitat for Humanity and Hacienda Girls Ranch. Dues are just $46 per year. Their clubhouse at 131 South Main Street in Brooksville is also available to rent.
For more information on the Historic Brooksville Woman’s Club go to www.GFWCbrooksvillewomansclub.org.