Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education celebrated Fiesta 2017 on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at New York’s Plaza Hotel. Each year at Fiesta, the Casita Maria Gold Medal of Honor is awarded to outstanding individuals in recognition of their contribution to the worlds of arts, education, and philanthropy. This year, Casita Maria honored three exceptional women: Rosaura Henkel, the Mexican philanthropist extraordinaire for her work with “Duerme Tranquilo” and service to numerous hospitals; New York’s own Elizabeth T. Peabody for her dedication to mental health and compassionate leadership to The Maria Droste Counseling Services, and Julia Salvi, the co-founder and visionary behind the renowned Cartagena International Music Festival. The evening’s host was FOX TV’s Audrey Puente, the daughter of the great Latin percussionist Tito Puente, himself a Casita alumnus and former honoree. The Dinner Chairmen were Jacqueline Weld Drake and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia. The Gala Co-Chairmen were designer Carolina Herrera and husband Reinaldo Herrera. Casita Maria’s annual benefit was an elegant, festive evening that commenced with cocktails, followed by seated dinner, music and dancing to The Bob Hardwick Sound.
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