Esai Morales, Father Matheew Munoz, George P. Bush, Hispanic 100, Hispanic 100's Lifetime Achievement Award Gala, Hispanic 100's Mentor Program, Larry Braggs, Mario Rodriguez, Michelle Rose, Robbie Munoz, Rosario Marin, Sol de Mexico
“I am the most graciously treated Texan to ever set foot in the state of California,” George P. Bush said at Hispanic 100’s third annual Lifetime Achievement Award Gala at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort. The 36-year-old lawyer, son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush, was the gala’s keynote speaker.
The handsome businessman wasn’t the only heartthrob at the gala. Being honored with Hispanic 100’s Lifetime Achievement Award was award-winning actor Esai Morales, known for his three-decade career on stage, in film and television (who could forget the angry brother he portrayed in the famous biopic La Bamba?). A self-proclaimed “actorvist,” Morales gives freely of his time to many charity organizations and environmental causes and was accompanied by his partner Elvimar Silva and their adorable two-year-old daughter Mariela.
The “Faith in the Future”-themed affair was attended by 320 guests and netted $75,000 for Hispanic 100’s Mentor Program, which gives goal-driven Hispanic youth the opportunity to be paired with highly successful Hispanic business leaders to prepare them to become future business and civic leaders. The program’s first graduate and current law student, 25-year-old Robbie Munoz, spoke glowingly about the success of the program and the positive impact it has had on his life.
Others at the podium included board members Rosario Marin, former U.S. Treasurer and mistress of ceremonies, gala chair Don Garcia, decor chair Teresa Hernandez, and Hispanic 100 Chairman Mario Rodriguez, as well as Father Matthew Munoz, grandson of John Wayne, who gave the invocation. Board member Julio Gudino presented Morales with his award, Josh Valdez introduced Bush, affectionately known as “P,” and Mentor Program Chair Roman Ramoz and board member Al Fink spoke passionately about the program. Michelle Rose, Hispanic 100’s Executive Director, was recognized for her efforts in the gala’s success.
The live auction featured some lively bidding for a dinner for 20 and a one-hour Sol de Mexico mariachi performance. It sold twice to Alfonso Cordero and Ron Hudson, who each paid $10,000 for the item. Sol de Mexico founder and performer Jose Hernandez was delighted! It was only left to Larry Braggs, lead singer of Tower of Power, to draw guests to the dance floor, while he rocked the house with such standards as “Stand By Me,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and “I’ll Take You There.” The gala gift, a miniature bottle of Camarena Tequila with an engraved Hispanic 100 shot glass, was the frosting on the cake!