KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Centro Hispano de East Tennessee will soon host its annual Latino Awards Gala online this year due to COVID-19. The gala serves as the largest annual fundraiser event for the nonprofit.

The annual event is part of the organization’s effort to not only celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month but also celebrate local Latinos and Latinas in the East Tennessee community.

The virtual event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

“It serves as an important opportunity to highlight the contributions of Latinos in our country,” Centro Hispano President and CEO Claudia Caballero said. “We work with and celebrate our local Latino community every day, but Hispanic Heritage Month allows us to take a step back and honor our culture from a broader perspective.

Leaders say the highly anticipated event is a cross-cultural experience that brings the Greater Knoxville community together to recognize Latinos, Latinas and community allies working to support the Latino community in East Tennessee.

“There is an incredible array of diversity within the Latino community at large,” Caballero said “Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with a necessary space to tell our own story, refocus the narrative and celebrate our collective history and the valuable impact that generations of indigenous, Afro-Latino and Latinx people have had on the United States.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Latino Awards event was redesigned by leaders and organizers in a virtual format.

This year’s event features an online auction and a streaming broadcast of live and prerecorded programming from Centro Hispano staff, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, as well as emcees Erin Donovan and Louis Fernandez.

Tickets to the 2020 Latino Awards are free. To register for the event and to make a contribution, visit