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Pedro “Cuban Pete” Aguilar, “King of the Latin Beat,” made his mark at the dawn of the Mambo craze in New York’s famous Palladium Ballroom. He invented scores of dance movements now viewed as standards of Latin dance. A catalyst for social change in the entertainment and social arenas, Cuban Pete was the first “man with a tan” to dance with a white woman onstage as early as 1951 when he danced with Millie Donay and ushered in one of the first instances of integration on the dance floor. In his career, he performed in movies, television, stage, and danced for American Presidents, heads of state and dignitaries, as well as served as choreographer and consultant for the film, “Mambo Kings.” We will miss “Mr. Mambo,” who passed away at age 81.
Martin Petroleum, operators of the six Florida Turnpike CITGO stations, recently presented a check for $67,000 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raised from the sale of holiday stocking mobiles at Florida Turnpike CITGO stations in November and December 2008. As a result of overwhelming support from Turnpike motorists and local communities up and down the Florida Turnpike, Martin Petroleum exceeded its fundraising goal by more than $9,000. The MDA is a nonprofit health agency that receives no government funding. MDA members do not pay for services, and the Association relies on private contributions for support. Nationally, CITGO – through the support of more than 7,000 locally owned service stations - is the largest corporate supporter of the MDA.
Women in Red gathered at The Center for Beautiful Skin Spa to show their support and raise awareness for the American Heart Association’s "Go Red For Women" campaign. While getting pampered guests socialized and enjoyed an array of refreshments and heart-healthy red wine. To learn more or join the American Heart Association, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.
Flavia Lowenstein-Elortegui hosted a coffee for friends and supporters of PlayGround Theatre to discuss plans for “Tea at the Ritz” set for May 17. Revealed was the news that Ivanka Trump, who has stepped out as a major designer of high-style jewelry, will serve as Honorary Chairperson. Barton G. will produce the party, and WSVN-7’s anchor Belkys Nerey will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Pictured: Maria Lowe, Chairman; Stephanie Ansin, Artistic Director; and Flavia Lowenstein-Elortegui, Chairman.
Miami Art Museum has added Brian P. Mormile and Diane Moss to the Museum’s Board. Diane Moss has been with the Helena Rubinstein Foundation since 1968 and became President and CEO in 1993. Her priorities at the Foundation have been advancement of women and the arts in education. Mos has been a Key Biscayne resident since 1995 where she resides with her husband Robert Moss. Brian Mormile moved to Miami in 1984 to attend the University of Miami and joined Bank of America as a management trainee in 1988. He currently serves as Managing Director of U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management, leading the Bank’s wealth management efforts in South Florida. Mormile resides in Palmetto Bay with his wife Jane and children, Samantha and Patrick.
Mercy Hospital's Mercy Foundation has appointed three new presidents within its fundamental support groups: Ambassadors of Mercy, Angels of Mercy and Young Founders of Mercy. Heading up the board of directors for Ambassadors of Mercy is Vince Castro, chief marketing officer and a partner of BenTrust Financial, a Miami consulting firm. Castro will oversee the group of young professionals which focuses on bringing new friends and donors to the hospital through fundraising efforts. The Angels of Mercy's new president is Angela Puentes-Leon (pictured). The group raises funds for the needs of the hospital's missions within the community, such as the St. John Bosco Clinic and the annual Christmas Food Drive. Puentes-Leon is an associate attorney for the Carlton Fields law firm in Miami. The newly-formed Young Founders of Mercy will be spearheaded by Pablo Cejas, a member of the Foundation and a longtime supporter of numerous influential community outreach groups. Cejas will be in charge of the Young Founders and its operations which include raising funds for the hospital and increasing support among young professionals in South Florida. Cejas is chairman and managing partner of the private investment firm Aquarius Capital Partners, LLC.
CHARLEE honored philanthropists Paula and Bob Brockway at an event to celebrate the naming of the organization’s newest edition to its downtown headquarters, a client visitation area. Officially called “Brockway Family Visitation Center,” this will serve as a much needed venue for reunions of biological parents visiting their children, visits with brothers and sisters who may not live together, and pre-adoptive families meeting or visiting with children who hope to become part of a loving, caring family. Paula and Bob Brockway are owners of the Bill Ussery Motors family of companies. Their dedication to community service is extraordinary, and their tireless efforts and contributions have resulted in awards and recognition from a multitude of local and national charities.
Sophia Hameed, a senior at Miami Sr. High and a member of the Interact Club sponsored by the Rotary Club of Miami, will be joining 42 Rotary Club members from around the world who are going to Chandigarh, India to help immunize 161 million children against polio - a disease that still paralyzes and sometimes kills children in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Sophia was born in India and came to the US when she was nine. Last year she learned about PolioPlus, the 25-year endeavor by Rotary International to wipe out polio and other childhood diseases. When she heard that a group of volunteers from Florida would be going to India to participate in the National Immunization Day (NID), she decided to be one of those volunteers. Sophia raised $3,500 to cover her travel expenses.