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Pro Cigar Festival 2009
Written by Gary J. Arzt

Friday, 03 April 2009

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With everyone back at their respective hotels, the group prepared for the Closing Gala, which, like the 2008 Festival, was to take place at the Centro Español. This elegant club, set on lush grounds with amazing facilities and sports grounds, has been an important part of life in Santiago for over fifty (50) years.

 

We were greeted by beautiful Dominican women with trays of cigars from our Pro Cigar hosts as we entered the building. On display were the items to be auctioned off for the benefit of two (2) charities in Santiago: the International Children’s Heart Foundation and The Sociedad San Vicente de Paul, Inc. As Manuel Quesada pointed out, so eloquently, when he took to the stage to conduct the auction; an opportunity to help, at both ends of life’s spectrum. One doing pediatric cardiology and the other a hospice for ailing aged citizens.

The ballroom was full, not only with tabaqueros, attendees and Pro Cigar staff and stars, but with a great number of Santiago de los Caballeros prominent citizens, who, as I have noted before, consider the Pro Cigar Festival important to the cigar business; important to their city and important to their country. The attire was business suit… and everyone looked elegant; not least the ladies in attendance.

Welcomed, once again, my the affable, amiable, Jose Blanco,  we drank and dined; then were treated to a show, staged by one of the Dominican’s premier entertainment groups – Bravissimo, from Ocean World in Puerto Plata.

The conclusion of the show, which was well received by everyone, foreign guest and Dominican alike, brought Manolo to the stage, to fill the role he filled last year – auctioneer.

The auction lots were all beautiful. Some rare; many unique, many being offered only at the auction. The bidding was spirited.

At the end of the evening, US$80,000 had been raised, to be divided between the two (2) charities.

With the evening and the week ended, everyone lingered, saying their ‘good byes’ and preparing, regrettably, to leave Cigar Country; our old friends and new friends…but, knowing we would return for Pro Cigar Festival 10!






Comments 

 
0 # Mr.Bill Bartlett 2009-11-11 07:57
How do I find information on the 2010 Pro Cigar Festival? williambartlett

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