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Aurora Hispanic Heritage  seeking Perez award nominees

Updated: January 22, 2013 6:17AM

Aurora’s Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board is accepting applications from high school students who are making a difference in the classroom and in the community.

The Heritage Board will honor the city’s top students, along with young artists and essay writers, during its annual community breakfast scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the Gaslite Manor, 2485 Church Road.

Youth leadership and service awards will be handed out to high school students who have excelled in academics or sports. High school and college students also have the opportunity to apply for a portion of the $18,000 in scholarship money that will be awarded.

Aurora schools have been asked by the Heritage Board to participate in a coloring contest for kindergarten through second grade, a poster contest for third through fifth grade and an essay contest for middle school students.

The Heritage Board also will be celebrating the memory of Peter J. Perez by recognizing an adult who exemplifies leadership and commitment to the Aurora Hispanic community. Nominees must at least 18, must volunteer in the Aurora Hispanic community, demonstrate dedication to the city and serve as a positive role model.

Peter Perez went to Marmion Military Academy in Aurora and the University of Illinois, where he excelled in football and went on to play for the Chicago Bears. After football, Perez joined the Aurora Police Department, where he served for 21 years. He then served as Kane County undersheriff for 13 years. Perez died in 1999 at age 74.

Both competitions are open to Aurora residents only. Nomination forms can be downloaded from the Heritage Board website at Forms can either be emailed to Special Events Coordinator Dee Basile at or sent to the City at 44 E. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60507. Applications are due Friday, Jan. 11. More information is available by calling 630-256-INFO (4636).

Tickets to the breakfast are $20 and can be purchased by emailing Dee Basile.

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