Nearly 400 guests gathered at the Hilton Americas Houston on Saturday to celebrate the achievements of Houston’s Hispanic Icons, at the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston’s annual scholarship fundraiser, Viva! The Gala. Presenting Sponsors BeDESIGN and Residences at The Allen joined the powerhouse trio of Marcelo Saenz and Adrian Duenas, Chair and Co-Chair with Silvia Salle, to helm the evening.

Since its inception in 1965, the Institute has focused on promoting inclusion, culture and education, through diverse programing and providing scholarships to exemplary students of Hispanic descent. This year’s gala breaks new records for the organization, raising over $300,000 in a single evening.

President of the Board, Carmen Herrada, and the gala chairs presented high honors to notable heroes of the Hispanic community, including Dr. German Newall and Micheline Newall, Dr. Ricky Flores and Monica Medina, Jose and Giannina Altuve, Isabel and Ignacio Torras, Mari Carmen Ramirez, Rosalinda Martinez, Silvia Graves, Laura and Rick Jaramillo, and Tony Bonilla Sr. Guests also enjoyed the lovely presence of the founders of the Institute.

Evening MC’s Deborah Duncan and Ron Trevino kept the night fast-paced and entertaining, and spotlight performances by ballroom dancers kept the crowd entertained between awards. As part of the Institute’s commitment to further the development and growth of Hispanic students in Houston, IHCH awarded merit-based college scholarships to high school students during the gala before the crowd took the dance floor by storm for an incredible performance by the Calle Swing band.

Spotted on the dance floor: Roberto and Claudia Contreras, Shelby Hodge and Shafik Rifaat, Houston Astro Yordan Alvarez and Monica Alvarez, Eugenia Rojas, Lee and Cookie Centracco, Rey Ocanas and Orlando Manzo, Elia Gabbanelli, Milka Waterland-Guzman, Mauricio Sampogna, Joanne Houck, China Contreras, Roberto Contreras IV, Mayte Weitzman, Amanda Edwards.

Photos by Daniel Ortiz

Photos by Quy Tran