'Sesame Street' actor coming to York

Katherine Ranzenberger

Sonia Manzano, who’s best known for her role as Maria on "Sesame Street," is this year’s keynote speaker for the 2016 Cornerstone Dinner, SpiriTrust Lutheran announced Tuesday.

Sonia Manzano is this year's Cornerstone Dinner Keynote Speaker.

Manzano, an acclaimed television writer and author, is speaking Thursday, April 14, at the Yorktowne Hotel in York.

“For more than 30 years, Sonia Manzano has inspired, educated and delighted children on 'Sesame Street,' weaving a positive message of empowerment in our communities,” said Glenn Miller, vice president of external relations at SpiriTrust Lutheran and CEO of the SpiriTrust Lutheran Foundation, in a newsrelease. “Sonia is one of the most influential Latinas in television and has been a powerful advocate for diversity throughout her career.”

Miller said Manzano’s message of overcoming obstacles and helping children fits well with this year’s Cornerstone Award honorees, the Rutter and Hartman family. The Cornerstone Award recognizes the generosity of individuals and families to their community through direct charitable support, leadership and volunteer services.

In 2015, the Rutters donated more than $235,000 to central Pennsylvania charities, according to the news release. These donations have been to organizations focused on improving the lives of local children among other organizations.

In its 13-year history, the Cornerstone Dinner and its partners have raised more than $1.5 million in support of SpiriTrust Lutheran programs and services in York County.

For more information on dinner sponsorships and reservations, call SpiriTrust Lutheran Foundation at 717-854.4425 or visit SpiriTrustLutheran.org.

— Reach Katherine Ranzenberger at kranzenberger@yorkdispatch.com.