Reynas and Hermanos honored at Santacruzan Ball

The Catholic Action of Mary (CAM) hosted its 41st Santacruzan Presentation Ball on May 4. This year’s Reyna Elenas are:

Reyna Elena I: Madison Jed Recebe.Thirteen-year old Madison was born in New York. She is the only child of Jonas and Edelyn Recebe.  Both parents are from Boracay and Kalibo, Aklan. Madison is in 8th grade at Donald Hertz Middle School. She plays volleyball for her school’s team, Lady Bulldogs, and loves playing the guitar and piano. She does volunteer work, and this summer break, she will be helping feed the kids at the Argao Elementary School in the Visayas.  She has also been serving at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan as an altar server for over four years now.

Reyna Elena II: Ariana Avanzado-Smallwood.Ariana, 16, is a junior in William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City. She is one of eight ambassadors of the Student Council representing her school in the Jersey City Board of Education. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She is an athlete in bowling and swimming for Special Olympics New Jersey. She has a wide collection of gold, silver and bronze medals competing in area, sectional and state competitions. She is a member of The Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County attending their Teen Tech Program and Clubhouse 2 Career Pathways Program. In June 2019, she will be representing the club at Best Buy’s Foundation Charity Classic event in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Last summer, she completed a 7-week summer immersion program with Girls Who Code at J.P. Morgan Chase. Ariana is the youngest of three children of Alma Grace Avanzado and Michael Smallwood. Ariana has the autism spectrum disorder but does not allow her disability to stop her from achieving her goals. She wants to pursue a career in technology.

Reyna Elena III: Michelle DeCastro. Michelle is 12 years old and lives in Jersey City. She is a student at Explore Middle School which emphasizes a STEM curriculum. Her interest is mainly technology-related – digital design. She loves science and math and has volunteered at various school events. She appeared in the Jersey Journal article for her help with homeless veterans last November. Her parents are Benny DeCastro who is from Manila and Mary Tan-DeCastro who is from Brooklyn. Michelle has participated in the Santacruzan since she was 5 years old.

Reyna De Las Flores: Michele Maria Torres.Michele graduated from Dominican Academy for junior high and Emmanuel College in Boston for college. She obtained her Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Economics graduating summa cum laude in both fields of study. She supports the Living Stones Campaign of the Archdiocese of Newark, the American Heart Association, and Unbound. During her free time, she enjoys watching Red Sox and Patriots games. Aside from Tabata Yoga, she also loves travelling. 

Reyna Emperatriz: Lilibeth Ramirez Reyes.Born in Isabela, Philippines, Lilibeth obtained her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing.  She is an ICU Ccu/Trauma nurse.  Currently, the Administrative Supervisor at the Carepoint Health System in Hoboken, New Jersey, she loves traveling and ballroom dancing. She has two daughters, Abby and Jojo, and four grandchildren – Ally, Yanna, Koko and Arya who call her “Grandma Pretty.”

CAM is also honored to recognize this year’s distinguished Hermanos y Hermanas Mayores, prominent members of the Filipino community who have generously supported the parish. They are: Ruth P. Sa-Onoy, Susan C. Perlez, Mystica Flor L. Tolentino, Leticia R. Balagot, Dr. Francisco Casambre Jr. (represented by his wife Hermana Mayor Virginia Casambre), and Jose M. Mayo, Jr. – Catholic Action of Mary Parish

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