Some 300 guests gathered at the Denver Art Museum for the Las Madrinas Tribute 10th Anniversary, a fundraising event for Denver’s Centro San Juan Diego (CSJD), which this year honored six individuals and/or organizations who have supported the Centro’s Bienestar Family Services program.
Among the honorees at the Saturday, May 17th event was Sister Alicia Cuarón who founded Bienestar Family Services in 2004 to provide social and economic help for Spanish-speaking immigrants to Denver. Today, Bienestar provides various programs for low-income individuals and families through education, legal services, leadership and small business skills to integrate Hispanic immigrants into the Denver community.
After the invocation by Sister Rita Cammack, Centro San Juan Diego Director Luis Soto and Event Chair Timi Aguilar reminded guests of the Bienestar’s work and commitment to Hispanic immigrants and to the community as a whole.
Among this year’s two dozen corporate and individual supporters were the three primary sponsors including the Denver Art Museum, Colorado Rockies and the Marycrest Franciscans.
Mistress of Ceremonies Belen de Leon of 9News acknowledged the award winners and brief video bios were aired before the award presentations. Event auctioneer, former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers entertained guests and persuasively kept bids competitive. Growing up in San Antonio,Texas, Rivers picked up and mastered some impressive Spanish-speaking skills and even shared some stories and anecdotes en español.
Luncheon award winners featured a cross-section of the Denver community representing broadcast journalism, real estate, non-profits, visual arts, and a Roman Catholic Order.
Among this year’s six honorees were: Mario M. Carrera, Chief Revenue Officer of Entravision Communications Corporation received the Estrella Award given to those who provide outstanding volunteerism.
Gracie Casias, Business Development Officer for the Heritage Title Company, received the Madrina Award given to women role models who demonstrate untiring dedication to their community.
Roberto Rey, multicultural Outreach Director for AARP of Colorado, received the Rebozo Award given to an organization or individual who provides personal and financial resources in support of Bienestar programs.
Sister Rita Cammack, OSF accepted the Corazón Award on behalf of the Sisters of St. Francis for their love and dedication to further the growth of Bienestar.
A Special Tribute went to SisterAlicia Cuarón, OSF. As the founder and program director of Bienestar Family Services, she is a life-long advocate of Latino issues in business, leadership and empowerment for women and the underserved. With numerous community accolades, in 2008, she was inducted into the CO Women’s Hall of Fame for contributions as a business/civic leader and human rights activist and was presented the Athena Award by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Also recognized was Special Guest Francisco Romero, an international artist and creator of “Lupita” artwork for Las Madrinas. A native of Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Romero graduated with a degree in Interior/Graphic Design from the University of Juarez before immigrating to the U.S. to exhibit his work. Inspired by the works of Fernando Botero and Diego Rivera, his use of color is vibrant and aggressive with themes portraying humorous social situations reflecting his love for Mexico.
The Las Madrinas or The Godmothers event honors an individual’s personal dedication and devotion “to nurture and ensure the personal and spiritual development of another individual.” Every year, Centro and its Bienestar Family Services program reach more than 6,000 individuals in the Denver area. For more information visit www.centrosanjuandiego.org
Mariachi Lupe Vargas performs prior to Madrinas event
A trumpet player from Mariachi Lupe Vargas welcomes guests to Las Madrinas Tribute 10 year Anniversary
Gracie Casias - Madrina Award / Roberto Rey, AARP - Rebozo Award / Mario M. Carrera, Entravision - Estrella Award / Sisters of St. Francis - Corazón Award / Special tribute: Sr. Alicia V. Cuarón, OSF - 75th Birthday & Commemoration
Sister Alicia Cuaron
Sister Rita Commack
Major Donors: Denver Art Museum, Colorado Rockies, Marycrest Franciscans / Gold Sponsors: Holland & Hart, Entravision, 1st Bank, Ready Foods, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Excel Energy, Aguilar Public Relations / Silver Sponsors: AARP, Citywide Banks, Bank of Colorado, Adelante Mujer, The Colorado Trust, Gracie and Bruce Casias, Valladolid Family, DRG Construction, Heritage Title Company, Eoncity, PBR Solutions, Vela Insurance Agency, Law Office of Ralph G. Torres
Former Denver Bronco Denver Reggie Rivers
ABC Reprographics, Art in Repujado by Clarissa, JP Creative Group
Timi Aguilar: Chair / Co-Chairs Romaine Pacheco, Marisol Villagomez, Danita Vigil, Luci Aandahl, Jaime Aguilar, Rowena Alegria, Alexis Anderten, Lupe Baca, Diana Chavez, Angela Davidson, Jim Davidson, Rita Flores de Wallace, Dana Frerich, Ray Garcia, Sr., Maria Gonzalez, Esther Luben, Jordan Goergen, Olivia Mendoza, Laura Morales, Elizabeth Muñoz, Djamila Ricciardi, Dora Valdez, Deborah Valdez