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Tequila toasts and sizzling fashions amp up the party vibe at Latins Women's Initiative Luncheon

Tequila toasts, hot fashions amp up Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon

Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Tequila Toast, Rosario Mendoza, Daisy Mendoza, Kris Goyri, Karina Barbieri, Sandra Weil, Michele Leal Farah
Celebrating with a tequila toast at the end of the runway show were Rosario Mendoza, Daisy Mendoza, Kris Goyri, Karina Barbieri, Sandra Weil and Michele Leal Farah. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
 Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Jessica Rossman, Dr. Romy Mitchell and Katherine Ross
Jessica Rossman, Dr Romy Mitchell and Katherine Ross. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women Initiative Luncheon, Philamnea Baird, Karen Winston, Patricia Domingue
Philamnea Baird, Karen Winston, Patricia Domingue. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women's Initiative, Cyndy Garza Roberts and Thomas Roberts
Cyndy Garza Roberts and Thomas Roberts. Photo by Kim Coffman
Lauren Paine, Jessica Morrison at Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon
Lauren Paine, Jessica Morrison. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Micheline Newall, Mercedes Braun
Micheline Newall, Mercedes Braun. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, LWI Marketplace
The Latin Women's Initiative Marketplace featured clothing, jewelry and accessories vendors. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
 Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Fady Armanious and Hallie Vanderhider
Fady Armanious and Hallie Vanderhider. Photo by Kim Coffman
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Divya and Chris Brown
Divya and Chris Brown. Photo by Kim Coffman
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Elva Flores and Leticia Fallick
Elva Flores and Leticia Fallick. Photo by Kim Coffman
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Karina Barbieri and Daisy Mendoza
Karina Barbieri and Daisy Mendoza. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Trini Mendenhall and Sofia Adrogue
Trini Mendenhall and Sofia Adrogue. Photo by Kim Coffman
 Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Emily Mir, Marcie Mir
Emily Mir, Marcie Mir. Photo by Kim Coffman
Latin Women Initiative Luncheon, LWI Runway Toast
The traditional runway toast. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women Initiative Luncheon, Monica Reyna Casiano, Mari Trevino, Michele Leal Farah and Gloria Bounds
Monica Reyna Casiano, Mari Trevino, Michele Leal Farah and Gloria Bounds. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Yadira Stapp, Emily Ali, Alejandra Berman
Yadira Stapp, Emily Ali and Alejandra Berman. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Tequila Toast, Rosario Mendoza, Daisy Mendoza, Kris Goyri, Karina Barbieri, Sandra Weil, Michele Leal Farah
 Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Jessica Rossman, Dr. Romy Mitchell and Katherine Ross
Latin Women Initiative Luncheon, Philamnea Baird, Karen Winston, Patricia Domingue
Latin Women's Initiative, Cyndy Garza Roberts and Thomas Roberts
Lauren Paine, Jessica Morrison at Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Micheline Newall, Mercedes Braun
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, LWI Marketplace
 Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Fady Armanious and Hallie Vanderhider
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Divya and Chris Brown
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Elva Flores and Leticia Fallick
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Karina Barbieri and Daisy Mendoza
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Trini Mendenhall and Sofia Adrogue
 Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Emily Mir, Marcie Mir
Latin Women Initiative Luncheon, LWI Runway Toast
Latin Women Initiative Luncheon, Monica Reyna Casiano, Mari Trevino, Michele Leal Farah and Gloria Bounds
Latin Women's Initiative Luncheon, Yadira Stapp, Emily Ali, Alejandra Berman

The Latin Women’s Initiative Luncheon is always one of the most high-energy and colorful events of the spring, raising much-needed funds for multiple charity organizations across the city. From the jam-packed marketplace to the celebratory tequila shots on the runway, Friday’s event at the Hilton Americas-Houston was certainly no exception. 

The LWI luncheon celebrated its 15th anniversary with a packed ballroom of 650 guests who raised more than $250,000, with proceeds being distributed to Homemade Hope, L.I.F.E. Houston, Shoes for Kids, Small Steps Nurturing Center, University of Houston Center for Mexican American Studies, Academic Achievers Program, and Undies for Everyone. Since its inception in 2001, the LWI has provided more than $2 million of financial support to women and children in Houston’s Latino community.

Despite the serious mission of LWI, the luncheon is frothy fun, full of fashion and chatter. Mariachis greeted guests for the luncheon that just happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo (which commemorates the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, not Mexican independence) and the party kept on rolling while shoppers found fashionable must-haves before heading into the ballroom.

Over a Latin-inspired lunch, the chatty crowd mixed and mingled throughout the ballroom in anticipation of the runway show featuring Cooperativa Shop’s Kris Goyri and Sandra Weil, in from Mexico City, as well as the heritage collections of Takasami’s Rosario Mendoza. Once the lights went down, the energy went up…way up, with sexy, bold looks for night and day. The occasional male model resulted in cheers and applause from the predominantly female crowd.

Before the traditional tequila toast, event organizers took a moment to wish fashion show planner extraordinaire Lenny Matuszewski a happy birthday, compliments of the mariachi band. 

Emcees Univision reporter Janel Garcia and ABC13 reporter and anchor Samica Knight kept the high-energy crowd in line, while luncheon chairmen Karina Barbieri and Daisy Mendoza explained the mission of LWI. Honorary chairs Rosi F. Hernández, Patricia Herrera, Trini Mendenhall, Micheline Ferrand Newall,  Cyndy Garza Roberts, Susana Brener de Stern, Ericka Bagwell, and Mary Tere Perusquia were also honored.

Spotted in the vibrant crowd were Latin Women's Initiative president Michele Leal Farah, Gloria Luna Bounds, Leticia Fallick, Jessica Rossman, Conchita Reyes, Dr. Romy Mitchell, Chree Boydstun, Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider, Mari Treviño, Monica Reyna Casiano, Julie Applewhite, Lauren Soliz, and Houston City Controller Chris Brown and wife, Divya.