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The New American Dream Foundation, a Danbury-based non-profit, is marking the 5th anniversary of its Annual American Dream Awards Gala on Saturday.  8 Danbury residents are in the running for 4 $2000 awards for  highlighting the cultural, social, and economic contributions of all immigrants, and the core American values of equal opportunity, progress, and freedom in the areas of education and civic engagement. 


57 applications were received from nominees who were born in the U.S., and others who migrated to America from 13 different countries. 


The Veteran Award will be presented to Danbury Police Officer Hector Rodriguez, a Colombian native who became a citizen after serving in the U.S Army following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  The Foundation will also honor Peter Hearty of the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, and Celtic Cross Pipe & Drum of Danbury with The American Dream Lifetime Achievement Award.  


The Leadership Award will be presented to Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Tom Saadi, Danbury Public Schools Collaborative/Upward Bound Program Assistant Director Jessica Coronel, Connecticut Small Business Development Center Advisor Nelson Merchan and National Parent Leadership Institute codirector Patti Keckeisen.

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