The sophisticated ambiance of Spain’s arts and financial centre, a capital city renowned for its rich repositories of European art, was brought to life for the Center for Creative Education’s (CCE) “A Night in Madrid” at Club Colette on April 3, 2023. Event chairmen Milly and Patrick Park presented a festive Spanish atmosphere for the occasion of honoring Susan and Dom Telesco and their significant contribution and commitment towards the funding of the Center’s new campus in West Palm Beach. Diane and John Sculley served as honorary chairs.
Those attending CCE’s annual spring benefit were enveloped by the magnificence of splendid red roses and opulent gold décor evoking the romantic atmosphere of what some may describe as Europe’s most elegant metropolis. Further heightening the sensory experience, Dan Ponton created a world-class Michelin menu. The night’s array of gastronomic delights began with Nova Scotia smoked salmon and caviar complimented by a shot of vodka followed by beautiful bufala mozzarella and befitting vine ripe tomatoes adorned with a balsamic reduction. The main course was an incomparable Prime New York strip steak served with morel mushroom sauce and its perfect accompaniments. Each delectable course was perfectly paired with superb wines of 2018, Corton-Charlemagne, Grand Cru, Louis Latour and Guado al Tasso, D.O.C. Superior, Bolgheri. Luscious vanilla cake and gelato with Belgium chocolate sauce was the irresistible finale as a vintage 2012 Brut Reserve Dom Pérignon topped off the ultimate dinner party.
The evening’s entertainment was highlighted by a fusion of live music and traditional Flamenco dance. Talented artists, straight in from Madrid, used body movement, music, rhythm, singing and above all, improvisation to express their emotions. An acclaimed Spanish guitarist accompanied the talented troupe of dancers in a unique display of agility, passion, and energy, bringing to guests an authentic taste of their homeland. Dinner music by the Gypsy Kings, the legendary group currently influencing pop-flamenco, continued the joyful vibe of the night.
“Milly and I are thrilled to honor our dear friends Susan and Dom for their unwavering support of CCE’s mission and their dedication to improving the lives of young people in our community,” said Patrick Park. “Their generosity and commitment have significantly impacted the success of CCE’s programs and grassroots impact. We are thrilled for the new Susan and Dom Telesco Art & Science Center that will break ground this fall.”
A Call to the Heart prompted guests to help CCE complete what the Telescos started as they move forward with the second phase of the Center’s $20 million capital campaign. Later this year, CCE will begin construction on the 22,000 square-foot building named for the Telescos. It will include a 200-seat theater, an art gallery and art studios, STEM labs, and more. This building will serve as a community hub, providing access to the arts and sciences for people of all ages.
CCE’s mission is to transform teaching and learning through creativity and the arts. In addition to providing extended learning opportunities across Palm Beach County, CCE also operates The Foundations School, a K-5 independent school that focuses on improving literacy and breaking the barriers of traditional education through the arts for students from underserved communities. The school uses a sliding fee scale based on household size and income, and no one is turned away for inability to pay.
“Dom and I are honored to be alongside so many other incredible philanthropists dedicated to making a difference in our community,” said Susan Telesco. “CCE is a remarkable organization, and we are proud to support their efforts surrounded by special friends. The contributions we make today can change lives and encourage the dreamers to keep reaching for the stars.”
In addition to the Parks and Telescos, guests included James Borynack and Adolfo Zaralegui, Candy and Dr. Ben Carson, Mary and Mark Frietas, Kenn Karakul, Michele and Howard Kessler, Amy and Ron Kochman, Lois Pope and Bill Porter, Norma and Bill Tiefel, Christian Angle, James and Betsy Meany, Susan and Bob Wright, Jeff and Nancy Smith, Eileen and Frank Bresnan, Dr. Herbert Wertheim, Arlette Gordon, Shannon Donnelly and son Ian Donnelly, Myrna Daniels, Erika and Lee Lipton, Michela and Maurice Gautier, Ozzie Medeiros and Eddie Schmidt, Florence Seiler and Bill McBride. Palm Beach Illustrated served as media sponsors for the event.
“We believe that we can best serve the most underserved students in our community by operating as an independent school,” Robert Hamon, CCE President and CEO said in opening remarks. “We intentionally recruit students from local zip codes with high levels of poverty and where students are zoned to attend a poor performing school. We focus on those students who today are not being successful in what is often described as a ‘one-size-fits-all-model.’ Regardless of why you came this evening, I hope you leave believing that all students deserve the education you want for your own children and grandchildren.”
For additional information on The Foundations School or Center for Creative Education, visit cceflorida.org. To make a scholarship donation, please call Jonathon Ortiz-Smykla at 561.805.9927; extension 106.