CORAZON DE VIDA :: Keeping Hope Alive With La Noche Blanca, Havana Nights! Posted on 12 Aug 15:54 , 0 comments

That time of year came and went as we danced the night away at La Noche Blanca, this time with a ‘Havana Nights’ twist! On Saturday, Summer time in Southern California was enveloped in dry heat that welcomed a change of pace. The warm breezes carried by Santiago Canyon made it easy to image a Cuban Summer where beautiful street food abounds and the distant sound of music coming from your local bodega can be heard from your neighborhood. The stage was set and the gala was about to begin!

A great number of people cascaded down the hill to the reception area, dressed in lively,  summery-white attire. Red roses and straw hats lay waiting for guests to don them for a photo-op at the step-and-repeat banner. The silent auction was not far from reach as guests bid on their phones throughout the cocktail hour! Refreshing mojitos by SelvaRey ensured the nod to old Havana, and tasting stations by Casamigos Tequila, Firme Mezcal, Cocijo, and Tequila Dame Mas were a welcomed poolside treat. Authentic hand-rolled Cuban cigars were a surprising touch that rounded out the evening's theme. Taco Rosa/ Taco Mesa not only fed our guests spectacular appetizers, but Chef Ivan Calderon’s generous sponsorship made sure to feed volunteers and staff! We are so fortunate to have his continued support in our mission after all these years.

As the silent auction drew to a close, our guests were ushered to a string-lit patio where Harumi’s gorgeous floral designs were hard to miss. Dinner was being served, and the bold sounds of salsa band, Mamboson, filled the atmosphere. It wasn’t long before WE Dance Academy graced us with bachata and salsa dance numbers as sponsored by Daniel Sandoval. The entire vibe of the evening was on point! Our dear Masters of Ceremonies Araceli Torres and auctioneer Rick Werner along with the Werner Family Auction Team took to the stage to host the live auction bidding. Our enthusiastic bidders made sure proceeds were secured for our kids in Baja! The live ask got us to that finish line as Hilda Pacheco-Taylor, our Founder, said a few words that reminded us of why we do what we do. 

We are tremendously over-joyed that so many are joining us in support, and equally over-joyed  to announce that together we raised $223,000 for the children! We have continued gratitude for event host Alex Dastmalchi, we adore your heart, and for Parisa and Chuck Horning for opening their home to allow for this magic to take place. Added gratitude to our event sponsors Hosa Technology and Grupo Paliska for helping bring that magic to life. To our table sponsors, our silent auction sponsors, to those who were bidding or donating from home, our dedicated volunteers and all of the aforementioned, we thank you to no end. 

At the heart of all of these efforts is the impact everyone’s contributions makes in the lives of the orphaned and abandoned children we serve. Your collective generosity makes hope possible. We sincerely wish to see you again next year and we welcome any newcomers that want to be change makers as well! We’ll be salsa dancing until the next La Noche Blanca!"

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