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On Saturday February 20th, a wonderful celebration was held at the Casa de Campo villa of Xiomara and Ramon “Papo” Menéndez, and with a grand sum of US$1,333,000 raised throughout the year for the Hogar del Niño there was certainly an incredible reason to celebrate!
Hosted each year by Xiomara Menéndez, the founder of the Patronato Benéfico Oriental (umbrella organisation to the Hogar del Niño) with her husband Ramon Menéndez, the “Adopt a Crib” dinner is an exclusive occasion to thank the generous Casa de Campo residents and villa owners who support the “Adopt a Crib” program, which enables the daycare and educational facility in La Romana to care for more than 200 babies in their “crib room” (la sala de cuna) everyday, as well as a total of more than 1500 youngsters.
Greeted at the threshold by the elegantly dressed hosts that we have all have come to know and love, Xiomara and Papo themselves, guests flowed steadily into the party until it felt like the entire Casa de Campo community was present. It was incredible seeing how so much of the Casa de Campo Community together and even more in support of this incredible cause.
Welcome cocktails were presented to the guests as they entered the beautifully decorated terrace, with glowing red and white lights, trees decorated with hanging white lights and mirrors and small red origami birds creating an illusion of “flying” across the night sky. Bravo to Xiomara and the team of Tres Eventos! All this with the incredible background live music by Victor Mitrov.
Following cocktails, the guests enjoyed a delicious dinner. The most memorable moment of all was the speech presented by Xiomara Menéndez and her daughter Xioma Menéndez. They later presented Mrs Phyllis Berney a plaque in recognition for her great leadership and dedication, and for being an incredible inspiration to others.
“I don’t normally talk on this event, On February 7th we celebrated 40 years of the Patronato Benéfico Oriental and 20 years of Adopt a Crib, and we thank Phyllis Berney for her idea and implementation and for making it a success. Without your constant and generous support Hogar del Niño would not be what it is today, Diagnostics, schooling, daycare, scholarships, doctor and pharmacy, dental care and other special attentions would not be a reality but a dream. This dinner is but a very small token of thanks, our gratitude and commitment to you. Thank you” — Xiomara Menéndez
“We always challenge ourselves to do better every year and this year we have met the challenge. The bar has been raised on our fundraising efforts, and we will keep the momentum going. I thank you for your unparalleled generosity over the 20 years of the Adopt a Crib program. We would have not accomplished this goal without the standing leadership of Lynn Rogers and his daughter Alexis. Not only did they donate, but they brought in new people as well. The Chairman next year will be Joyce Berman – she’s very enthusiastic and a great supporter. I would like you to join me in thanking Papo and Xiomara for this beautiful dinner that they do every year for us. Tonight is a magical evening, each year is more amazing than the year before. The dinner is to show our gratitude, your generosity is not taken for granted or the kindness behind your actions of giving. The Hogar del Nino would not be the place it is without the work of the dedicated staff, headed by Sandra Alvarado and her assistant Alessandra Avanzini, and of course our capable president Xioma Menéndez. We are so fortunate to have her working on behalf of the children, not a day goes by that she’s not thinking of how to better serve the children and her families.” — Phyllis Berney
In her speech our dear Phyllis pointed out some of the great accomplishments that the Hogar del Nino was able to obtain with the support of the community.
“The sports center, inaugurated on Friday has rarely been empty since its opening, with presentations, morning flag ceremonies, sport events, are held there it now has a roof which completely covers it and is an incredible addition to the school.”
“The Zona Verde is a space where the students complete their homework, as well as participate in a variety of extracurricular activities such as art and music lessons. It’s called Zona Verde because the students are learning to take care of the environment. The roof has a fully functioning solar power system. With help of many great helpers the backyard has been fully renovated. Here students can do their homework or simply relax. The students helped in the process which included painting recycled plant tires for planting.”
“We added 3 Montessori classrooms this year. Teaching our preschool children in the Montessori method has resulted in remarkable improvement in their ability to concentrate and their independence; we hope to add more classrooms this year.”
Legacy Club & Endowed Benefactors
“Rick McDaniel joined as a new member of the Legacy Club. The Hogar del Nino has endowed benefactors who invest in the future of the children by making donations of over US$20,000.00. The endowment is a savings account to support our organization for years to come. The annual income helps support a wide range of priorities, to better serve the students and ensure the continuity of our high quality program.”
Because of the leadership of Xiomara Menéndez, and the managing of assets at the hands of Phyllis Berney the future is optimistic. If you are interested in creating a named fund or joining the legacy club, please get in touch with the Hogar del Nino. It is a lasting way of investing in the future of this great town which many of us are proud to call home and which has brought us all such happiness over the years.
And that is what the Hogar del Niño and the Adopt A Crib is all about. Thank you all, it’s with your kind contribution and support of this beautiful cause that is helping to build a better, brighter future for everyone.
The following collection of photos were taken during the Adopt A Crib dinner on Saturday February 20th at the Casa de Campo villa of Xiomara and Ramon “Papo” Menendez in the Bahia Minitas area of Casa de Campo by Alejandro Heredia:
The Hogar del Niño is a children’s daycare and educational center for over 1500 children, located in La Romana town, just outside of Casa de Campo. Children from as young as just a few weeks old up to 18 years old are cared for and educated daily, from as early as 5:30am and staying as late as 7pm.
The organization also provides special schooling to over 75 hearing impaired and blind children, as well as a vocational school where over 235 students receive classes in different areas like: sewing; industrial preparation, installation and electrical maintenance; plumbing and management of computer office programs.