Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ruben Aguilar Senior Citizen Hall of Fame, Museum of Mexican Culture and History, Boy Scouting, Health Fair/Feria de Salud

Alderman Danny Solis and Ruben Aguilar

50th ANNUAL: The City of Chicago Park District, Michael Kelly, General Superintendent & CEO and Evelyn Diaz, Commissioner, Department of Family & Support Services hosted the 50th Annual Senior Citizen Hall of Fame and 45th Annual Senior Citizen of the Year Awards Luncheon. The award luncheon was held Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel Ballroom, 301 East North Water Street, Chicago.
      ATTENDING the ceremony were more than 400 Senior Citizens and guests from across the city.  Joyce Gallaher, Executive Director of the Chicago Area Agency on Aging, was the mistress of ceremonies. Joyce introduced several Aldermen and dignitaries. Sixty-seven seniors were inducted into the Senior Citizen Hall of Fame and three Luminaries: Father George Clements, 80; Andrew Miles, 86; and Ruben D. Aguilar, 85. All three luminaries were honored, receiving a beautiful glass plaque. Alderman Danny Solis [25th Ward] was introduced and congratulated all the seniors, especially Ruben Aguilar whom Solis said, “He’s my guy!” Len Dominguez, Director of the Carlos & Dominguez Fine Art Gallery in Pilsen, and I attended the awards luncheon as guests of Aguilar.  
Len Dominguez and Ruben Aguilar
      RUBEN D. AGUILAR was born in Chicago to Mexican parents and in 1933, when he was 7 years old, Ruben and his entire family were sent back to Mexico during the infamous repatriation raids. More than two million Mexicans--Mexican-Americans and undocumented-- were deported back to Mexico in trucks and by train. "Mexicans were blamed for unemployment during the great depression of the early 20th century", said Aguilar.
       RUBEN WAS in Mexico when he turned 18 years old and received a notice from the Induction Center in Chicago for him to report back to U.S. for the draft. He returned to the U.S., reported to military service in the Korean War and drafted into the army during World War II, as a marine. Many Mexican-Americans who were sent back to Mexico, illegally, in 1935 returned back to the U.S. to fight for their country.
      AFTER HIS military service Ruben returned to Pilsen and worked in design oriented jobs until he had enough money to open his own factory, Chicago Creative Textile Design. The highlight of his career was a commission to decorate Soldier Field stadium for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration. Mayor Richard J. Daley personally met with Ruben and asked him to decorate Soldier Field. Ruben adorned the stadium with 39 foot murals 18’ high and 8’ wide with images of famous sport figures.
      TODAY, Ruben has a store in the heart of Pilsen on 18th Street where he tells stories of his past and creates new work which is for sale. He is a mentor to young artists in the community and sells their work at his store located at 1504 West 18th Street. Store hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. except on Wednesday when the store is closed. Visitors are always welcome.
A CHICAGO treasure, Ruben Aguilar is a testament to the old saying, if you do what you love, you’ll stay young forever!
William Luna, Curator
        OPEN HOUSE: Holding a new sign, William “Bill” Guillermo Luna, curator of the Museum
of Mexican Culture and History, 3610 W. 26th announced the Museum will once again host visitors during the Open House Chicago 2012. It’s a free public event Oct. 13 and 14, 2012. “Open House Chicago is an opportunity to showcase our Mexican culture and history,” said Luna. Last year over 200 people visited the Museum. “We had visitors from Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, plus from the suburbs of Chicago,” Luna said.
          THE OPEN House Chicago event is sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Little Village was selected as a hosting neighborhood because it is a colorful, exciting and interesting community. Visitors will have 25 neighborhoods to visit during Open House Chicago. No reservation necessary. For more information on Open House Chicago 2012, call 312/922-3432.  
          CURATOR LUNA began his passion as a Mexican Culture historian in 1992 when he opened a Mexican book store. After 20 years his store evolved into a Mexican Museum. Luna teaches Mexican culture at the Indiana University Northwest campus in Gary, Indiana, teaching the history of Mexico and Latinos. He is available to make presentations to church groups, senior clubs, schools, military and community organizations. Videos and movies of Mexican history can be seen at the Museum. In Little Village, Luna said that today it is now strictly a museum. The Museum is a collection of Mexican artifacts, photos, equipment, statues and memorabilia.
            VISITORS to the museum will see black & white and colorful photos of Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata and scenes of the 1910 Mexican revolution. Hanging on the walls is a Maya calendar, photos and maps of the Maya empire, twelve colorful paintings of Aztec emperors with their histories and background. Other items on display are sombreros, saddles, ropes, spurs used by the Mexican vaqueros [cowboys]. There are photos of the War of Independence, the Batalla de Puebla and U.S. military equipment are also featured in the museum.
            THE MUSEUM is under the auspices of the Little Village Community Council and has a vendor number with the Chicago Public Schools and an IRS 501(c) 3 tax exempt status.
           THE MUSEUM will soon be offering a course in Chicago entitled, “The Mexican American Civil Rights Movement” in collaboration with Dr. Rita D. Hernandez from Texas A&M  University- Corpus Christi, College of Education. For more info contact William Luna at 773/551-4750.
Ernesto Espinoza points to the
neighborhoods for scouts
            BOY SCOUTING: Ernesto Espinoza, Assistant Director of Field Service, Chicago Area Council, and Boy Scouts of America announced there will be a Scouting Meet & Greet meeting on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at the Steve Fossett Center for Scouting, 1218 West Adams St., Chicago.  Registration at 5:30 p.m. Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Botanas and aguas frescas will be served. Cocktails after the presentation. Parking available.
            SCOUTING provides youth with an opportunity to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence and reinforce ethical standards. “Scouting also helps the community become a better place to live by instilling the values of Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent in youth and adults”, said Espinoza.
          ANYONE interested in scouting, kindly RSVP by June 22nd to Myriam Herrera at 312/421-8000, ext. 209 or Ernest Espinoza can be reached by cell: 214/907-9759. 
SAT., JUNE 23, 2012
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3610 W. 26th St.
Blood Pressure, Diabetes Screening,
WALKS Clinic, Community
Wellness Program, Senior Wellness
Information, Giveaways, Asthma
FOR MORE INFO: 312/286-3405