February 2, 2018 at 7:30 p.m I donned my flashiest cocktail dress (it was red, sparkly, and Jessica Simpson) and my flashiest shoes (silvery pointed-toe Badgley Mishka) and attended Masquerade Gala| Night for Ninos sponsored by Fabretto Children’s Foundation and held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
All proceeds from this sparkly event help “unveil the power of food”. Meaning, Fabretto will be able to continue efforts to lift Nicaraguan communities out of poverty by financing more education initiatives. World Central Kitchen (think famous Chef Jose Andres) is a special partner and has been key in creating environments for children to thrive. From providing nutritional education to parents and teachers, to helping create local jobs and increase family earnings to families in Nicaragua.
I may need a new curler but I had major hair drama that day. I couldn’t curl the way I dreamed too so I used bobby pins to nab the guilty culprit strands down. I used Not Your Mother’s volume hairspray and that helped keep my hair in control.
Anyways, going en route had its ups and downs. Traffic after work was a bit much but I was glad to see parking garages .4 miles away from the venue. Instead of paying $20 for valet parking at the venue, most attendees opted to pay for parking garages nearby that probably cost between ($12-$16) for the evening.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts has a breath-taking venue. Much of the party was held inside the Great Hall and the Mezzanine, which has an elegant event space ideal for masquerade galas. I definitely had some “Cinderella” moments when I was beset by the spacious marble reception area and I was enamored by the ballroom decked out with three elegant crystal chandeliers and women-made art from the museum. I could not help but also take a few selfies by the white marble staircases that spiral down to the Mezzanine.
This gala was heavily staffed with stewards and stewardesses in white and black uniforms, that either had gold trays of canopies or chill bottles of white wine. I was only 1/4 finished with my drink when a steward walked by me and filled my glass to the brim. All attendees had their table number and bidding numbers etched on the back of their booklets.
Attendees were dressed to the nines. I truly felt dwarfed in size since most guests seemed to tower over six feet. Socialites wore long gowns that kissed the floor and had their hair freshly highlighted and styled for this party. Ornate, basic, and event feather strung masks were worn by both men and women. Even I couldn’t tell guests apart after they went incognito.
Here’s an interesting anecdote: This bartender, decked in an all white suit, and a hearty smile was trying to give the tall, actress-like, red head a glass of champagne but accidentally knocked a candle down to her gown. For a good five seconds her dress was ignited with light flames but she was able to kick it off. She was gracious, kind, and forgiving to the bartender and walked off like a true lady. I didn’t know who she was but this was an interesting spectacle to see.
The food was a Michellin star dream come true. I ate a scrumptious egg quiche topped with poach pears, had orzo with fresh tomatoes, sampled five varieties of breads and can declare Greek Olive bread was my favorite, and ate great beef and pork accompanied by cream sauces.
The silent auction, which was on the top floor overlooking the mezzanine, was lined with goodies such as theater tickets, shows, classes, and trips out of state.
After some lengthy hob-nobbing with Fabretto employees, volunteers, and board members I was seated to a beautiful table arrangement. Imagine fluffy black table cloths, gold masks, and candles that seem to have an everlasting flame. The event was spearheaded by the honorary host committee of: Dr. John j. Degioia, President of Georgetown University, His Excellency Francisco Campbell, Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua, and prayer from Father Otto Hentz S.J.
Kevin Marinacci (CEO of Fabretto) opened the ceremony by welcoming the crowd, and Brian Macnair (CEO of World Central Kitchen) highlighted the strong partnership between both Fabretto and World Central Kitchen. A live auction featuring inclusive trips to Belize, France, and other exotic locales brought out a verve with the crowd that could only be contained with a lime, green, light saber from the auctioneer.
The silent auction ended to great success: raising 69k for Nicaraguan communities! Live Latin music closed out the party and dancing was immense, magical, and never seemed to end.
Consider donating to this great cause here!
Fabretto’s mission is to empower underserved children and their families in Nicaragua to reach their full potential, improve their livelihoods, and take advantage of economic opportunity through education. This mission is achieved through early education, primary education, and technical vocational education initiatives. Inspired by the legacy of Padre Fabretto, the organization envisions a prosperous Nicaragua where all children and adolescents have meaningful opportunities to grow and learn, in communities that offer access to quality education, so that they may reach their full potential.
For over 60 years, Fabretto has been building relationships within Nicaraguan communities in order to provide hope and a better future to the children and youth in need. Today, the organization serves over 20,000 children and youth through work in seven Fabretto Education Centers and more than 440 local public schools.