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[Click for photo album] 

Yadira Betances Muldoon (center), Leonor Sanchez (left), Yadira's sixth grade teacher at the Oliver School and her daughter Ana Camargo Sanchez (right) © Lussier Photo | 

[Click for photo album] 

On Thursday, June 16, 2022, over 160 people gathered at the 2022 Eartha Dengler History Award Ceremony to honor Yadira Betances Muldoon. Included among the guests were Yadira’s beloved teachers Mr Bill Campagnone and Leonor Sanchez. The Lawrence History Center extends its gratitude to our honoree Yadira. It was a pleasure to gather the Lawrence community to honor and express gratitude and love for her. Speakers brought to life her personal story - the importance of her gift, the scope of her accomplishments, and the tremendous, yet quiet impact she has had on Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley. 

The Gift of Writing   
Yadira Betances Muldoon is a lover of history, family, religion, and education … and a writer with a love for Lawrence.   Born in Neiba, Dominican Republic, after her mother’s passing, Yadira was raised by two aunts and an uncle and arrived in Lawrence as a middle schooler. A teacher at the Oliver School reminded her that she was “somebody special.” At Lawrence High School the writing teacher saw her talent and urged her to use it to write stories about what was important to her.   
And so Yadira wrote.   A first-in-the-family college graduate, in 32 years as the only Spanish-speaking reporter for The Eagle-Tribune, Yadira covered the small stories and the big ones—the 1984 riots, the accidental drowning of four boys in the Merrimack*, the kidnapping and killing of Sgt. Alex Jimenez in Iraq, the rise to stardom of dancer Belen Indhira Pereyra.   In her writer’s focus on Lawrence and its people, Yadira has made local news educational, and helped countless readers see their own voices, truths, and lived experience reflected in the news—a gift that embodies the early vision of Eartha Dengler and enriches the archival record for generations to come.  

* Yadira was one of the staff awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism for this story. 

Evening Program: 

Arrival and Social Hour Cash bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, music by The Wobblies 

Welcome Susan Grabski, Executive Director, Lawrence History Center 

Blessing Deacon Cristino Ynfante Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish, Lawrence 

Dinner Speakers 

  • Francisco Ureña
  • Melissa Fili, Managing Editor, MethuenLife Magazine
  • Sara Morin Barth, Family Friend / Secretary, LHC Board of Directors
  • Video Tribute from Gabriel Martinez (Yadira’s Son)
  • Mark Cutler, President, LHC Board of Directors
    • Showing of Yadira’s Video Oral History (summary)

Award Presentation 

Claudia Dengler, Daughter of LHC Founder Eartha Dengler 

Amita Kiley, Collections Manager, Lawrence History Center 

Acceptance Speech 

Yadira Betances Muldoon 

Our sincere gratitude to Yadira and her family, our Event Sponsors, speakers, our volunteers, and special thanks to all those who helped to make the evening possible:

  • The Nuñez Family / Syramad Properties Inc. (hosts)
  • Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts
  • Whimpper Barahona
  • Esperanza Academy
  • Patrick Guerrero (Sound/Projection)
  • Andy Kelley (Videography)
  • Lussier Photography
  • MethuenLife Magazine
  • El Mundo Newspaper
  • The Party Connection
  • Lawrence International High School Students
  • LaPlume & Sons Printing
  • Rosé Classic Bouquet
  • Rumbo News
  • Marcia Sharp
  • The Wobblies (Erik Froburg, Nathan Hendrie, Armand Hyatt, Abdiel Perez, Jeff Shea, Gary Sidell, Bill Traynor)

Congratulations, Yadira! 

On display in the event space:

  1. Three stunning Dominican Carnaval costumes were on display thanks to Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts, Stelvyn Mirabal and family. Stelvyn recently donated them to the LHC collection.
  2. The exhibit -- Lawrence, Massachusetts: A First American Home -- was mounted along the perimeter of the space. This exhibit was curated by A. Patricia Jaysane and was first shown at Ellis Island in 2013- the exhibit was viewed by over a half million people.
  3. Banners at the back of the room highlighted Semana hispana were curated in 2017 by LHC board president Mark Cutler and his student at Phillips Academy. Semana Hispana is taking place this week in the city of Lawrence.

The Lawrence History Center began giving the Eartha Dengler History Award back in 1998 to spotlight the efforts of and accomplishments of outstanding leaders whose talents bring development, opportunity, and that have enriched Lawrence in tangible ways. For more about previous recipients, please visit