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Archdiocese of Miami Gala was an Elegant Event
Benefitting The Leadership Learning Center in Little Havana and the Pierre Toussaint Center in Little Haiti
 

Bunny Bastian and Archbishop Thomas Wenski


Paul & Swanee DiMare, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Jodi & Bob Dickinson

The Marriott Marquis was decked out for spring at the Archdiocese of Miami Gala. A most elegant ball, it benefitted the Leadership Learning Center at St. John Bosco and the Pierre Toussaint Leadership Learning Center. The Leadership Learning Centers are unique after school programs that have amazing results with at-risk kids. The chairman of the gala was Bunny Bastian and patrons were Swanee and Paul DiMare.

The evening started with a cocktail reception and a silent auction filled with many exciting and fun items. There was a Dwayne Wade autographed jersey, a seven night stay at Harbour village in Bonaire, and several Golf & Stay packages at first class resorts like The Fairmont Turnberry Isle, Biltmore and Doral Golf Resort & Spa. In addition, there was a large variety of purses and bags from a few well known designers as well as genuine crocodile & snakeskin hand crafted ones. Definitely something for everyone’s taste.

Dinner followed in the main dining room which was spectacular to see. Table cloths were ivory. Centerpieces created by Designs by Elsa and consisted of hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses—and many more pastel spring flowers. The Continental Brass Band reminiscent of the Big Band Era was a delight to hear and inspired guests to get on the dance floor as soon as they entered the ball room. Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, President of Catholic Community Foundation, welcomed everyone and thanked them for supporting the Leadership Learning Centers. He said, “We are very proud of the work these programs do as they enhance learning opportunities for inner-city children. It happens only through the generosity of the community.”

He then introduced Bunny Bastian who was welcomed with a standing ovation, something she certainly deserved. She gave tribute to Martha Velasquez, the woman responsible for putting this lovely event together. Alonso-Mendoza then introduced Archbishop ThomasWenski who once again thanked Bunny for her continuedl generosity. He said that supporting the Leadership Learning Centers is not a onetime gift but an investment in young people whose lives will be changed for the better because they are in these programs.

A delicious dinner was served starting with an appetizer of ravioli, followed by a steak dinner and a mousse encased in dark chocolate with raspberry sorbet for dessert. The band continued to play to the delight of the guests who couldn’t seem to stay off the dance floor. It was an evening to remember for its perfect execution and delightful ambiance.








Emilio & Marina Alonso-Mendoza, Eugenio & Frances Sevilla-Sacasa

Victor & Hortensia Velazquez, Drs. Ada & Jose Armas


Miguel & Sonnia Viyella

Carlos & Maria Arazoza

Dr. Ramiro Abaunza & Maria A. Fuentes de Abaunza


Cristina Cosculluela and Lourdes Eskert

Pat & Milton Wallace

James Boink and Raphael Bastian


Jorge Luis & Marile Lopez

Dr. Leopoldo & Margarita Formoso

Mariana O’Naghten and Mireya Muñiz


Dr. Frank & Mirta Fuentes, Ana Maria & Pedro Capo

Diego & Laura Suarez, Carmencita & Juan Lopez


Octavio & Vivian Verdeja

Esteban & Lily Prellezo

Horacio Aguirre and Archbishop Thomas Wenski


Raul & Ninon Rodriguez

Carmencita Betancourt Lewis & Michael Lewis

Lourdes & Carlos Gimenez


Megan Fitzgerald, Warren & Maura Jennings

Jorge & Anabella Del Rosal, Archbishop Thomas Wenski


Lili & Robert Chisholm

Enrique & Bertha Enriquez

Maria Cristina Diaz, Juan T. O’Naghten


Gabriel & Marta Bustamante

Mirella Lasalle, Helen Hinds, Helen Briggle


Fr. Pedro Suarez, S.J., Nidia Rodriguez, Nestor Rodriguez

Gala Ballroom

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