San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists to host annual gala July 23

After more than two years of fundraising and event planning challenges during the pandemic, the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists will host its 24th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala at 6 p.m. July 23, 2022 downtown at the historic St. Anthony Hotel.

SAAHJ will give out $40,000 in scholarships to 11 area students studying journalism and mass communication, including a scholarship to an outstanding Latino student funded by multiple New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano.

The nonprofit will also present the Henry Guerra Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism, its 2022 Community Service Award and its national Corazón de Oro Award.

Grammy Award-winning musician Flaco Jimenez will receive the latter award. A South Side resident, Jimenez is a legendary accordionist and a national treasure. 

SAAHJ’s Corazón de Oro Award honors individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to the U.S. Latino landscape throughout their work and careers, whether it be philanthropic, political, cultural, educational or social. Jimenez will join a cadre of former Corazón recipients, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and Carmen Yulin Cruz, former mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The San Antonio Food Bank will receive SAAHJ’s Community Service Award for its inspiring response to the coronavirus pandemic and its work addressing hunger and poverty in the predominantly Mexican American seventh-largest city in the nation.

SAAHJ’s highest journalism award will go to Ramón Hernández, the barrier-breaking music journalist, photographer and archivist who has documented the Tejano music scene for more than 35 years. 

The Henry Guerra award is named for the beloved TV broadcaster of the mid-20th century who is regarded as the first Spanish-surnamed journalist in San Antonio to use his real name throughout his radio and TV news career. Guerra is best remembered for his trademark signoff, “Good night y muy buenas noches.”

“We’re so proud to be able to honor these two living legends — Flaco and Ramon — with a special musical tribute and also recognize a local nonprofit that has gone above and beyond helping to feed our community during its time in need,” said SAAHJ president Laura Garcia. 

“But the evening will also be about honoring our deserving scholarship recipients and all of our generous sponsors and supporters whose donations help us provide this kind of financial assistance,” Garcia said. “As a former scholarship recipient myself, I’ll forever be grateful for the support SAAHJ gave me so that I could reach my educational goals and still put food on the table.”

WellMed will be the event’s presenting sponsor. Tables are still available starting at $2,000 up to $10,000. Only a limited number of individual tickets will be sold to the public at a later date.

For details on sponsorship packages, email, or call gala chairman Teno Villarreal at 210-787-6757.

SAAHJ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and contributions are tax-deductible.

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Madison Iszler