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Tequila Toasts, Sassy Fashions and the Best Hair on Earth — Houston’s Most Enthusiastic Luncheon Ever Spotlights Latin Women’s Initiative

Keeping It Lively — From 10 AM Into the Evening

BY // 05.09.22

The most exuberant luncheon of the year, the most beautiful women, the sassiest fashions and the best hair on the planet (oh, and the eyelashes) — what else could this be other than the annual blockbuster Latin Women’s Initiative celebration that packed the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom with 1,000 enthusiastic backers.

True to form, this will surely be — even without the tequila toasts — THE benefit luncheon of 2022.

Yes, servings of Maestri Tequila shots topped off the seated portion of the 20th anniversary event that began at 10 am with close to two dozen merchants proffering an assortment of wares, many Latina inspired, and continued well into the afternoon, perhaps early evening as many of the ladies continued the party.

The vibrant sights and sounds of Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico and the UH Moores School of Music Mariachi Pumas vibrantly heralded the start of the luncheon segment. So enthusiastic was the merry throng that getting all seated was a challenge. Chairs Vicky Dominguez and Patricia Garcia along with Lation Women’s Initiative president Vicki Luna did their best but not until Dominican Father Juan Torres took the stage for prayer and delivered some very clever humor did the throng settle.

“Let’s talk accessories,” he quipped. “Mine is the rosary.”

Cyndy Garza Roberts, Roni Hernandez, Diva Garza, Jolene Trevino,Michele Leal photo by Jacob Power
Cyndy Garza Roberts, Roni Hernandez, Diva Garza, Jolene Trevino, Michele Leal at the Latin Women’s Initiative 20th anniversary luncheon (Photo by Jacob Power)

Emcees Lisa Hernandez of KPRC Channel 2 and Crystal Ayala of Telemundo had their hands full keeping the crowd’s attention through the lengthy program. Aside from the fashion show (more on that later), highlight of the event was introduction of the honorary chairs — past Latin Women’s Initiative presidents. Parading the catwalk that criss-crossed the vast ballroom were those presidents in attendance: Leticia Fallick, Patricia Herrera, Diva Garza Houlette, Ana Matamoros, Rosi F. Hernández, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Michele Leal, Daisy Mendoza and Maritza Gonzales.

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Then came the fashion presentation from Tootsies featuring Latin designers (Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, etc. . . ) and spotlighting beautiful and talented Colombian designer Maygel Coronel who was in attendance. As always, the handful of gents on the catwalk had the women wildly cheering, whistling and applauding, leading Tootsies’ creative director Fady Armanious to muse, “You wonder if they’ve ever seen a man before!”

Twenty percent of sales from marketplace merchants including Two Tequila Sisters, Barrio Antiguo Designs, Margarita Mercantile and Christina Greene were earmarked for the day’s beneficiaries. Net proceeds from the $400,000 raised will benefit Books Between Kids, Homemade Hope, Tejano Center For Community Concerns, Undies For Everyone and Wesley Community Center. For two decades Latin Women’s Initative has provided support for similar nonprofits that provide critical services to Houston’s Latino community.

Lisa Hernandez, Helena Zadok and Crystal Ayala photo by Jacob Power
Emcees Lisa Hernandez and Crystal Ayala flank Zadok Jeweler’s Helene Zadok who presented the diamond necklace to the raffle winner. (Photo by Jacob Power)

Fundraising was enhanced by the raffle that featured a dazzling diamond necklace from Zadok Jewelers, Helene Zadok on hand to make the presentation to the very luck winner.

PC Seen: State Senator Carol Alvarado, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Laura Murillo, Casa Maestri (tequila) owner Celia V. Maestri, Jessica Rossman, Ceron, Marilu Garza, Jacquie Baly Craig, Gloria Bounds, George Farah, Beckie Mir, Dr. Sippi Khurana, Alvin Abraham, Mayte and Javier Weitzman, Jenna Lindley, Lucia and Michael Cordúa, Gracie Saenz, Chree Boydston, and Jan Mendenhall.

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