Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine


May 20 • The Mandarin Oriental Hotel

THE EVENT: Grace Bender celebrated her milestone with "a gift and a taste of a country I love, Cuba," by recreating the atmosphere of Havana's Hotel Nacional, where her father was general manager during her teenage years.

THE SCENE: From the invitation to the decor, no detail was overlooked. A replica cake of the hotel by Sylvia Weinstock, a casino and vintage cars made the atmosphere ring true as Marvin Hamlisch belted out "Happy Birthday," and 300 guests salsa'd the night away. "I haven't been to Cuba since '60, but you brought it to me," Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez noted.

THE GUESTS: Rep. John and Debbie Dingell, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and wife Deni, Mandy and Mary Ourisman, A. Huda and Samia Farouki.

Grace Bender, Barbara Harrison, Mary Haft and Lorraine Wallace


Morton and Grace Bender
Beth and Ron Dozoretz

Ann and Vernon Jordan
Terre Blair Hamlisch with Kuwaiti Amb. Salem Al-Sabah and wife Rima Al-Sabah

Eric and Pascaline Steiner

Former Spanish Amb. Javier Ruperez and Marcia Carlucci

Dancing Havana style
Replica cake of the Hotel Nacional

Betsy and Bill Delphos
The spotlight was on Grace


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