ROCHESTER — Grace Tillinghast, president of the Rochester Hispanic Business Association, was named this year’s Latino of Positive Influence during the city’s Hispanic Heritage Month gala last month.
Now in its third year, the award acknowledges a person in the community who is helping others and influencing them in a positive way, explained Melisa Vega, chairwoman of the selection committee.
Tillinghast "is a professional person who reaches above and beyond to do more," Vega said during the gala held Oct. 20 at the Stardust Ballroom in the Edgerton Community Center.
Upon receiving the award, Tillinghast explained that she learned from her mother that one should always help others. When her mother was in her 90s, she would still get up and go to a senior center to "help the old people," joked Tillinghast. Her mother also went back to college when she was in her 70s.
"God gives you one life," added Tillinghast. "In your journey, you’re supposed to do as much for other people as you can. … I hope for good health so I can continue doing what I’m doing."
The event also included dance performances from Panameños de Rochester and music by Ritmo Seis.