Casita Maria Gala brings NY festival cheer

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On October 22nd, a coterie of New York luminaries in dashing suits and glamorous gowns crowded into the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental for the 2013 Casita Maria Gala. One of the most anticipated events of the New York social season, the annual “fiesta” benefits the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education– a charitable organization in the Bronx that serves the Hispanic community. 2013 marks Casita Maria’s 79th birthday in New York City.

Honorary Gala Chair Alina Cho presented the Gold Medal Award to each of the evening’s honorees: John Demsey, France Chrétien Desmarais and Eddie Palmieri. During cocktails, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a special appearance to congratulate Desmarais on her new award. This year, Honorary Fiesta Gala Chairs included Ana Cristina Alvarado, Alina Cho, Eddie Palmieri II and Gabriela Palmieri. The Honorary Jr. Chairmen, the “Pachanga” chairs, were Jane Bloomingdale de Cisneros and Henrique Cisneros.

Casita Maria’s Executive Director Sarah Calderon spoke with emotion about the charity’s programs. Two students currently enrolled in the Casita’s arts and education program introduced Jackie Weld Drake. True to tradition, Jacqueline Weld Drake, Aileen Mehle and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia served as the Dinner Chairmen. Promptly at 7:30 PM, cocktail hour began, followed by dinner. To cap off the glimmering night, guests sashayed to the musical stylings of The Bob Hardwick Sound.

The event boasted over 400 attendees.


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