Sandy Vergara Duarte was a trailblazer for the Hispanic community. She advocated for the people and was never afraid to express her concerns. In 1999, she met with Governor Jim Hodges to express her concerns about the many challenges faced by the Hispanic community. As a result of her many efforts, the Governor tasked the commission to form a Hispanic Ad hoc Committee. As a result of all of those who served on the committee, CMA's statute was amended to include not only the African American Community but the Hispanic community as well. Sandy served as a detective for the City of West Columbia and she also served as a community liaison for so many in need.
Sandy had a toughness and fighter spirit that served her well throughout her life. She overcame paralysis from an accident after being told she would never walk again when she was 11 years old. Her determination to live held her for seven years following a grim cancer diagnosis. That same toughness drove her to do her very best in providing for the people she served. For many in the West Columbia community, without her, there would be no school supplies, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving baskets, Christmas gifts and parties and much, much more. Her joy was giving!!
After battling many years of cancer Sandy is now resting in peace in her eternal home.