On Thursday October 25, the Dominican
Women’s Development Center,
independent Dominican founded organization in the United States,
held their 30th Anniversary Gala at the Grand Hyatt
Hotel, where they honored
lyricist, and actor Lin-Manuel
and other notable people, including philanthropist Jean
The gala raised hundreds of thousands
of dollars to help fund the center’s diverse programs for Latina
women and families of
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 theVisionary in
Strategic Marketing and Communication Award; Jomari Goyso, Designer,
Beauty Expert and Hairstylist, was presented with the Lifestyle
Breakthrough Award; and Maria Terrero, Family
Services Coordinator, Early Head Start, DWDC, was presented with
the Founders Award.
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.
Gala Chairs were Luz Miranda-Crespo and Sabine
Gala Benefit Committee was Annette Malloy, Luz
Bermudez, Maritza Santiago, Karen Kelley, Fermin
Espinosa, Petra Cruz, Michelle Ester, Brenda
Scott, and Rosita Romero.
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
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.
continue to donate to Dominican Women’s Development Center’s go