Lin-Manuel Miranda Honored at
Dominican Women’s Development Center’s 30th Anniversary Gala
On Thursday October 25, the Dominican Women’s Development Center, the largest independent Dominican founded organization in the United States, held their 30th Anniversary Gala at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where they honored composer, lyricist, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, and other notable people, including philanthropist Jean Shafiroff.
The gala raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund the center’s diverse programs for Latina women and families of the Washington Heights community.
Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s father Luis A. Miranda, Jr. introduced Rosita Romero, DWDC Executive Director, who danced her way on to the stage before offering a rallying speech, saying “Our evening’s theme is transforming lives, but the first life the DWDC transformed was mine.” She spoke about the center’s achievements and how they have helped more than 11,000 individuals and families with support services, referrals and resources.
Lin-Manuel Miranda then came to the stage and joked, “I love Dominican women so much I married one,” before applauding the work of the DWDC for always “lifting up the community.” Throughout the evening, the DWDC also recognized exceptional individuals and corporations that have made their mark.
Dr. Casilda Balmaceda, Board-Certified Neurologist and CEO of Neurology Associates, was presented with the Healthcare Leadership Award; Jean Shafiroff,Author and Philanthropist, was presented with the Outstanding Philanthropy Award; Daniel Kern, NYPD Police Officer, was presented with the Honorable Service Award; Marisol Martinez, Vice President, Channel Relationship Marketing, Charter Communications, was presented with the Visionary in Strategic Marketing and Communication Award; Jomari Goyso, Designer, Beauty Expert and Hairstylist, was presented with the Lifestyle Breakthrough Award; andMaria Terrero, Family Services Coordinator, Early Head Start, DWDC, was presented with the Founders Award.
An auction was then held, where people bid on luxury handbags including one by Oscar de la Renta, vacations and art work donated by Kate Shin from the Waterfall Mansion – where one of the bids was for $37,000.
The Gala Chairs were Luz Miranda-Crespo and Sabine Poisson. The Gala Benefit Committee was Annette Malloy, Luz Bermudez, Maritza Santiago, Karen Kelley, Fermin Espinosa, Petra Cruz, Michelle Ester, Brenda Scott, and Rosita Romero.
About the Dominican Women’s Development Center
The mission of DWDC is to empower all women and communities to advance gender equality and social justice. Since 1998 and with an uncompromised resolve, the DWDC has made tremendous strides to fulfil its mission to empower all women and communities to advance gender equality and social justice. Fueled by an unrelenting quest to see families and individuals realize their potential, the DWDC has been a compassionate source of hope and inspiration to countless women, children and households through programs and services that restore their dignity and self-esteem while encouraging the pursuit of possibilities far beyond their personal circumstance and socioeconomic conditions.
At their annual events, the DWDC is able to showcase some of the lives they are privileged to shape, and equally ecstatic about recognizing individuals who share our passion for service as well as honoring our selfless organization partners without whom the mission of changing lives cannot be achieved.
Thirty years is not just a DWDC milestone: it is the perfect embodiment of a collective community accomplishment. The DWDC believes in treating all people with dignity and respect, that promoting gender equality is fundamental to social justice, that all people have the right to opportunities and resources that support them in reaching their full potential. They believe in practicing holistic, culturally sensitive, inclusive and innovative community engagement. They are committed to serving all communities regardless of background gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, age, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or other identities, and believe in the power of advocacy for ourselves and their communities.