Monday, October 21, 2019

Casita Maria Holds Fiesta Gala 2019 at The Plaza Hotel

Juan Montoya, Jackie Weld Drake, Ambassador Mary Dawkins, General Peter Dawkins, Edgar Legaspi and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia 

Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education’s annual gala, Fiesta, was held at The Plaza Hotel on October 15, 2019. The evening honored Ambassador Mary Dawkins and Brigadier General Peter DawkinsJohn Hardy JewelryEdgar Legaspi, and Juan Montoya with the Casita Maria Gold Medals of Honor. The evening’s host was Sissi Fleitas. The award is bestowed to individuals in recognition of their contribution to the worlds of arts, education and philanthropy. The festive evening began with cocktails, followed by a dinner dance to the tune of Bob Hardwick’s Latin inspired tunes.     

Casita Maria has been a second home and safe haven for kids and their families for more than 80 years,” introduced host Sissi Fleitas. “It's really a blessing and an honor to serve as executive director of the first and oldest Latino charity in all of New York City,” said Haydee Morales. “Welcome! I am here to be brief and grateful,” said Jackie Weld Drake.

“The Casita Maria enterprise is a remarkable one that for decades has done such wonderful things for this community,” said Pete Dawkins upon receiving his Gold Medal. “I would just like to add my congratulations to the other recipients of this wonderful award,” added Mary Dawkins. “To see such kindness and thoughtfulness at Casita really touched my heart,” said Juan Montoya. “Community and support are the most important things we can nurture. You all are an inspiration.” 

Edgar Legaspi, on stage with his family, said, “We believe we have a mission to help people through education. I would like to encourage people to help Casita. It’s not about money, it’s about effort and time.” John Hardy Jewelry’s CEO Kareem Gahed, said, “Thank you from all of the generations of artisans, wax carvers, chain weavers, inspired employees, and passionate leaders at John Hardy.”

Model Adwoa Aboah attended with Gahed. She is the latest face of John Hardy, joining Pénelope Cruz and Julianne Moore. Aboah was adorned with John Hardy’s jewelry.

The Dinner Chairmen were Jacqueline Weld DrakeHRH Prince Dimitri of YugoslaviaUrban KarlssonMary Snow, and Joan Steinberg. Honorary Chairmen were Dayssi Olarte de KanavosElizabeth Peabody, and Carlos Souza. Past honorees have included Santiago CalatravaRoberto CavalliAgnes GundAudrey HepburnCarolina HerreraDaisy Soros, and Lynn Wyatt. Pachanga Chairs co-chairs were Victor Roquette and Sabrina Wirth.

Fiesta is arguably the best party in New York. It attracts a glamorous international crowd for a lively evening that is light on speeches and great fun, all in the service of our serious purpose. Much of the operating budget of the organization is raised at the event.

About Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education
Casita Maria, the oldest Latin charity in New York City, provides high-quality, innovative arts programming to over 1,000 students daily both during and after school, producing participatory, well-rounded individuals who go on to fulfill their dreams. Located in the country’s poorest zip code, the South Bronx, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education creates a safe and welcoming community, enriching and uplifting youth and families towards success, through shared cultural, art and educational experiences and programs.

Photos by PMC/ Gonzalo Marroquin

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Youth America Grand Prix 2019 Celebration

L-R Sergey Gordeev, Larissa Saveliev, Fateev, Laura Lobdell, Xander Parish

"Beautiful things are naturally attracted to each other. It's only natural that beautiful people flock to this beautiful house and hostess," said Youth America Grand Prix's Sergei Gordeev as he thanked jewelry designer Laura Lobdell and her husband, who graciously opened their TriBeCa duplex to the Mariinsky Ballet company and nearly 80 guests including Larissa Saveliev, founder and artistic director of YAGP. The hostess, noted for her champagne-inspired gold and silver jewelry, lived up to her reputation with cases of bubbly on hand as well as mini-knishes from Lower East Side baker Yonah Schimmel. “For the past 20 years Youth American Grand Prix," Gordeev continued, "has made it it's business to travel the world, find the most talented young people we could possibly find all over the planet and make it, help them get to the companies like the Mariinsky and mare than 30 other companies around the world where Youth America Grand Prix dancers are dancing at the world's largest scholarship audition." 

Guests included all eight of the Mariinsky dancers visiting from St. Petersburg including the recently knighted Xander Parish, OBE and the director of the Mariinsky Ballet, Yuri Fateev, the evening's guest of honor.  Also there were ABT dancers Skylar Brandt, Patrick Frenette, Connor Holloway, Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Gabe Stone Shayer, and Christine Shevchenko, as well as ballet lovers Maria-Cristina Anzola, Delin Bru, Marie de Foucaud and Renaud de Tilly, Peter Hay Halpert, Krystn Hammond, Kristina Allegra Kingston, Michèle Gerber Klein, Susan Leslie, Helen Marx, Roxanne Motamedi, Wendy Perron, Cole Rumbough and Emily Mohr, Irene Shen, Benny Tabatabai, and Adrienne and Gianluigi Vittadini, plus devoted YAGP board members Suzanne Dance, Judith M. Hoffman, and Richard Osterweil.

Youth America Grand Prix is the largest global network of dance with more than 10,000 young dancers – ages 9 to 19 – auditioning annually. 450 Youth America Grand Prix alumni are now dancing with 80 professional companies around the world. 100 of these alumni are soloists and principal dancers. YAGP fulfills its mission through scholarship auditions, master classes, alumni services, performances, educational and outreach activities. On April 16, 2020, YAGP will host its annual Gala at Lincoln Center. 
Photos by John Sanderson/ 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Free Beauty Events October Giveaway is back this month with another amazing giveaway!  For anyone not familiar with FBE, the site is a great tool for all beauty addicts.  It helps you stay up to date on the latest beauty happenings in your area and serves as an awesome way to snag killer free samples. Each month the site gives away a bundle chalk full of the industry's best must haves.  Let's check them out! 

This month's basket includes industry favorites from L'Oreal, Milani, Rimmel, BodyMark, Essie and more!  The contest runs from now through 10/31/19, winners will be chosen on 10/10/19 and notified by 11/15/19.  Entering is simple!  Visit FreeBeautyEvents on Facebook (don't forget to like them!) or enter directly on their website.

Besides the monthly giveaways, the site also offers great beauty advice and product reviews on their blog.  Like any of the products you read about?  Keep your eyes open for your chance to stock up!  Easy as 1-2-3, just enter your zip code into the site's search bar to find out which locations in your area might be handing out samples.  It's a helpful way to keep up to date with the beauty events happening in your town.  

Get more FBE info here

Have you attended an event listed on the site? 
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