Santa Paula Times

Cinco De Mayo to feature Laura Diaz, Blanchard youth award

May 03, 2006
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe 7th Annual Cinco De Mayo Community Celebration dinner will be held Saturday at the Community Center, where the Elizabeth Blanchard Youth Service Award will be presented and CBS News Anchor Laura Diaz, a native Santa Paulan, will again be the featured speaker. Tickets for the Cinco De Mayo Celebration - a fundraiser for the Santa Paula Family Resource Center that will feature dinner, silent auction and music - are only $20 each.Councilman Gabino Aguirre will be the master of ceremonies for the 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. event that will feature Elizabeth Blanchard presenting the Youth Service Award established by Interface Children Family Services in her honor. Blanchard was the former Honorary Chairperson of the Interface Endowment Committee.Martin Hernandez of Santa Paula, an aide to Supervisor Kathy Long, is the former Executive Director of the SPFRC. “Even though I know longer work at the SPFRC, I still believe that as one of the only providers for services for families in need in Santa Paula they do great work, and I still support them” by serving on the SPFRC Advisory Board. “The Santa Paula Family Resource Center has been providing free social services in Santa Paula under the umbrella of Interface” at its East Main Street office since 1998.Laura Diaz, a first generation Mexican American born in Santa Paula to a family of farm laborers, moved to Santa Clarita when she was four years old. “Laura is now a very successful anchor woman for CBS News. Her roots as being part of a farm worker family strengthened her resolve in pursuing goals, as well as being an inspiration to young women, especially Latinas,” noted Hernandez.
One of the leading Hispanic television journalists in the nation, six-time Emmy Award winner Diaz joined CBS 2 in September 2002 as co-anchor of the News at 5 and 11 p.m. while involved in numerous special projects. Raised in a farm workers’ camp in Santa Clarita, Diaz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.Diaz has been honored by her peers on several occasions, including the L.A. Press Club’s highest honor, the “Joseph M. Quinn Award” for journalistic excellence and distinction. Some of her national honors include the 2004 “Impact Award” for excellence in broadcast journalism given by the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and in 1993 the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation named her “Woman of the Year.”For more information on the Cinco De Mayor Celebration or the array of free services offered by SPFRC, call 525-6616.