New York Cool

What's Up For Today?

New York Cool - Ask Miss Wendy

New York Cool - About Town

Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education Gala (The Fiesta)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
New York City

Written by Wendy R Williams
Photo Credit:
Patrick McMullan Company/ Jonathan Zeigler

Opposite Photo:
Jacqueline Weld Drake,
Charles Bronfman and
Rita Bronfman

New York's "partiers for a very good cause" gathered on October 22, 2013 at New York City's glamorous Mandarin Oriental Hotel to celebrate the work of the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education. Casita Maria changes the lives of families in the South Bronx and and by helping these families, they change the world.

Here is a quote from their Casita Maria website about their mission: "Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education’s mission is to empower youth and their families by creating a culture of learning through high quality social, cultural, and educational opportunities. We are one of the few organizations in the South Bronx that welcomes kids at the age of six and stays with them until college while providing family learning through the arts. We are also different in the plurality of ways in which we can attract community members to utilize our services. Our students introduce their parents to our cultural programs, while our public programs guide parents to our wide ranging education programs. Our work pervades the community, and our positive influence pervades the generations."

Alina Choo, Prince Demetri of Yugoslavia, Jacqueline Weld Drake
and Frances Desmarais

Sarah Calderon, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, France Desmarais,
Eddie Palmieri, Jacqueline Weld Drake, John Demsey and Alina Cho

The 2013 honorees at the Gala were John Demsey (Group President of Estee Lauder), France Chrétien Desmarais (Canadian philanthropist, activist and board member of One Drop) and famed musician Latin jazz band leader Eddie Palmieri (recipient of the 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award). Dinner Chairmen were Jacqueline Weld Drake, Aileen Mehle, and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia. The Honorary Chairs were fashion journalist Alina Cho and Cornelia Guest (socialite, animal rights activist, and vegan cooking entrepreneur). The 2013 Honorary Junior Chairmen, the “Pachanga” chairs, were Jane Bloomingdale de Cisneros and Henrique Cisneros.

Mayor Bloomberg made an appearance during the cocktail hour to congratulate his friend, France Chrétien Desmarais.

Famed decorator Mario Buatta and Alina Cho shared the masters of ceremonies duties, introducing Sarah Calderon, Casita Maria’s Executive Director, who spoke about the impact of Casita Maria's work on the lives of families. Two Casita Maria students spoke briefly about what Casita Maria means to their lives and then they introduced Chairman Jackie Weld Drake who introduced the evening's honorees - John Demsey, France Chrétien Desmarais and Eddie Palmieri. The honorees and guests were then treated to dinner and dancing to the music of The Bob Hardwick Sound.


Jane Bloomingdale, Henrique Cisneros, The Pachanga Committee

The Pachanga Committee - Nicholas Kilner, Samantha Thompson, Christopher Trump,
Jessica Garza Bueron, Federico Garza Bueron, Siddharth Kasliwal, Alex Henk,
Paola Aboumrad, Adam Shapiro and Jana Pasquel de Shapiro

The Pachanga Committee (Honorary Jr. Chairmen) included: Fabiola Arias, Suzy Biszantz, Nora and Ryan Tamras Barr, Melissa Berkelhammer, Hayley Bloomingdale, Alexandra and Jorge Bonetti, Jamie Biden and Amy Bracco, Kate and Alexander Brodsky, Katherine Brodsky and Simone Falco, Melina and Ed) uardo Cisneros, Flora Collins, Andrea and Ed Dale, Ashley Fina and Guillermo Drew- Bear, Carolina Escobar, Alejandro Esteve, Siddharth Kasliwal, Elizabeth Jacoby, Alicia and Maximilian Jahn, Di Mondo and Eric M. Javits, Berry Bloomingdale and Steve Keller, Christian Leone, Bame Fierro March, Elena Martinez and Bobby Sanabria, Erika and Mike Marino, Brit Marling, Jana Pasquel de Shapiro and Adam Shapiro, Karina and Pedro Palma, Life Anne Stiles, Gonzalo Mendoza and Camila Restrepo, Jaime estrepo, Gabriel Rivera- Barazza, Bettina Santos Domingo, Bobby Sanabria, Daniela Perez and Luis Scull, Roslyn and Paul Taylor, Samantha Thompson, Heloise Thomson and Christopher Wirth, Alexandra and Jose Maria Trullols, Christopher Trump, Serra Cerikci and Alexander Vinograd, Kate Werlein.

To learn more about Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, go to:












© New York Cool 2004-2014