Largest Class Ever to be Honored at 2017 Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala

November 4 Event at CCSU to Honor Distinguished Connecticut Citizens of Hispanic, Italian, Jewish, Pakistani and Polish Heritage

New Britain, Conn., July 10, 2017 – Over the past four years, Connecticut’s Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame has honored 17 iconic individuals and families who have made major contributions to the cultural fabric that is Connecticut and America. On November 4, six more esteemed individuals will join them at the 2017 Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame (IHHF) Induction Ceremony and Gala at Central Connecticut State University.

The IHHF Class of 2017 will include a distinguished group of individuals of Hispanic, Italian, Jewish, Pakistani and Polish heritage. They are: The late Franciszek Herzog, a survivor of the Siberian exile following the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 and long-time leader in America in Polish scouting; Rabbi Henry Okolica, 103, a German native of Polish heritage, holocaust survivor and inspirational leader at New Britain’s Congregation Tephereth Israel; Bessy Reyna, a Cuban native raised in Panama who is an award-winning, bilingual poet, activist, lecturer and journalist; the late Angelo Tomasso, Sr., an Italian immigrant, business and community leader who founded the Angelo Tomasso, Inc. construction company; the late Angelo Tomasso, Jr., who followed in his father’s footsteps to forever make the Tomasso name synonymous with Connecticut construction and philanthropy; and the Honorable Mohammad Nawaz Wahla of Pakistan, the first Muslim to serve the State of Connecticut as a Superior Court judge.

Complete inductee profiles are available on the IHHF website at www.immigrantheritage.org.

“Our 2017 class is our largest and truly reflects not only the enormous diversity at the heart of who we are as Americans, but the yeoman contributions of immigrants and those of immigrant heritage to our country,” said Andre Blaszczynski, long-time Tunxis Community College Professor of Economics, chair of the IHHF Organizing Committee and President of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut.

The 2017 IHHF Induction Ceremony and Gala is open to the public and will be highlighted by a keynote address by Judge Wahla. In addition to ceremonies honoring each inductee, the evening will include an artistic program.

The event takes place at the CCSU Student Center Alumni Hall. Tickets are $85 per person, with cocktails at 5:30 and dinner at 7:00. Sponsorships are available and businesses and organizations are encouraged to consider purchasing a table of 10. For complete information and to purchase tickets online, visit www.immigrantheritage.org.

The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame is a program of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. The IHHF celebrates the diverse ethnic heritage of Connecticut by honoring individuals and institutions who exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic and civic development of our state and nation. The IHHF preserves heritage through publication of biographies and histories, and strives to educate the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of America and about the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities.

It is the IHHF’s vision to establish an institution that will promote and publish research, lectures and conferences on the immigrant heritage of our state and the role of immigration in the American economy and culture, and build an endowment to sponsor, and offer research fellowships in support of these activities.

For more information, visit www.immigrantheritage.org or call (860) 829-1215.

Highlights from the 2016 Induction Ceremony

Photos from the 2016 Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  November 12, 2016 at Central CT State University. 

Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Highlighted by Inductees with Hispanic, Italian, Pakistani and Polish Roots

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Andre Blaszczynski, Dennis Buden,  Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame DBPR (860) 798-8619 (cell) -or- (860) 558-0514 (cell) andrebb@comcast.net dennis@dbpr.net

Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Highlighted by Inductees with Hispanic, Italian, Pakistani and Polish Roots

New Britain Museum of American Art Director Min Jung Kim to be Keynote Speaker at November 12 Gala at CCSU New Britain, Conn., September 27, 2016 – Iconic achievers and community stewards from Connecticut’s Hispanic/Latino, Italian, Pakistani and Polish communities will be honored with induction into Connecticut’s Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame (IHHF) on Saturday, November 12 at Central Connecticut State University. The IHHF Class of 2016 – the Hall’s fourth – will include The Alverio Family, whose leadership and achievements are representative of all that Connecticut’s Hispanic/Latino community has meant to our state; Nicholas DeNigris, New Britain attorney, civic leader and an icon within the state’s ItalianAmerican community; Naeem Khalid, a Pakistani-American businessman, philanthropist and community leader; and Roman Nowak, a long-time business leader, philanthropist and inspiration within Connecticut’s Polish community. “With each new class of inductees into the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame we are reminded of the rich diversity of our state and the tremendous contribution immigrants and those of immigrant heritage have made to our community,” said Andre Blaszczynski, a long-time Tunxis Community College Professor of Economics who is co-chair of the IHHF Organizing Committee and President of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut. “We are thrilled to welcome The Alverios, Mr. DeNigris, Mr. Khalid and Mr. Nowak into our distinguished and accomplished family.” The 2016 IHHF Induction Ceremony and Gala is open to the public and will be highlighted by keynote speaker Min Jung Kim, director of the New Britain Museum of American Art. The Presenting Sponsor is the Tariq Farid Foundation. The event takes place at the CCSU Student Center Alumni Hall. Tickets are $85 per person, with cocktails at 5:30 and dinner at 7:00. In addition to ceremonies honoring each inductee, the evening will include an -more- Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame 2-of-2 artistic program. Sponsorships are available and businesses and organizations are encouraged to consider purchasing a table of 10; RSVP deadline is October 28. For complete information and to purchase tickets online, visit www.immigrantheritage.org. The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame, a program of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, Inc. (a 501(c)3 charitable organization) celebrates the diverse ethnic heritage of Connecticut by honoring individuals and institutions who exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic and civic development of our state and nation. The IHHF preserves heritage through publication of biographies and histories, and strives to educate the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of America and about the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities. It is the IHHF’s vision to establish an institution that will promote and publish research, lectures and conferences on the immigrant heritage of our state and the role of immigration in the American economy and culture, and build an endowment to sponsor, and offer research fellowships in support of these activities. For more information, visit www.immigrantheritage.org.

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