Casita Maria Kicks off Upcoming Gala with Intimate Lunch

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
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In an era where nearly all charity galas have several major corporate sponsors, an intimate, non-commercial celebration has become increasingly rare.  Last Wednesday, Jacqueline Weld Drake hosted an intimate lunch at her Upper East Side home – for a group of about 20 – to toast Casita Maria’s Pachanga Junior Committee in celebration of Casita Maria’s 2013 Fiesta Gala later this month.

Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, one of the 2013 Fiesta’s Dinner Chairman, attended the luncheon to commend the members of the Pachanga Committee for their support of Casita Maria. After a social cocktail hour, guests like Chris Trump, Berry Bloomingdale, Elizabeth Jacoby, Jonathan Marder, Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, Jana Pasquel de Shapiro, and Samantha Thompson, made their way to the dining room for a seated lunch that included salmon roti, roasted fall vegetables, and a mixed green salad.  Mrs. Weld Drake gave a toast and heartfelt thank you to everyone on the committee, and quipped that “pachanga actually means a rollicking good time, so I expect all of you to be tearing up the dance floor at the gala.” After which Marder joked, “actually, pachanga just means you have to be very, very good looking” – referring to the rather comely make-up of the young committee.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Gala – held this year at The Mandarin Oriental on October 22. AVENUEinsider will be there! To learn more about Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, go to

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