Centro Mater kicks off its 50th anniversary with a reception at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Downtown Miami. At the small and intimate celebration, the organization’s chairman, Octavio A. Verdeja, spoke of Centro Mater’s impressive achievements in early-childhood education since its foundation in 1968 and invited everyone to join in the celebration with a series of events in 2018. Among those attending was Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who addressed guests and honored the organization with a proclamation, designating December 13th as Centro Mater Child Care Services Day. Board members present received the proclamation and thanked the county for the many decades of unconditional support to the organization. Among supporters present were Matthew Bruno, Centro Mater Foundation board member and Senior Vice President of Mercantil Commercebank, which was the presenting sponsor of the night; along with Rick Riesgo, Centro Mater Foundation board member and Vice President/General Manager of Coastal Wine and Spirits, which generously donated the liquor enjoyed at the event. The highlight of the night was the Centro Mater Children’s Choir which delighted guests with a cappella rendition of “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. The choir stems from a Centro Mater collaboration with the University of Miami School of Music which provides professional music teachers to implement lessons to children enrolled in the after school program. Guests visibly enjoyed the night at the museum’s incredible surroundings, with special experiences and a panoramic view of the Miami skyline.


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