The Miami Herald reports on the Pedro Pan Exodus 50th anniversary celebrations taking place this weekend in Miami:
It hardly seems possible, but it’s been 50 years since Operation Pedro Pan began the airlift that eventually that brought 14,000 unaccompanied children from Cuba to this country.
This weekend, Operation Pedro Pan will be remembered and celebrated in a grand way, starting Friday with a conference entitled, “Pedro Pan: A 50-year Perspective.” The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa, 4833 Collins Ave. The guest speaker will be Archbishop Thomas Wenski. The cost for the conference is $50 per person and includes breakfast and lunch.
At 7 p.m. Friday, a Fiesta Cubana Cocktail Party will be in the resort’s Oceanview Room. Music will be provided by Angel Canete’s Son y Salsa DJ. The cost is $30 per person and includes dinner. The attire for men: guayaberas and island casual for women.
On Saturday, “Pedro Pan Cubanismo,” featuring dominoes, cigars and music, will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Oceanview Room of the resort. Lunch will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Then, at 6:30 p.m. the Pedro Pans will gather for their annual Thanksgiving gala and dinner dance, also at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa. The cocktail reception will be in the Grand Promenade Ballroom, followed at 7:30 p.m. with the dinner/dance in the Mediterranean Ballroom. Entertainment will be by Carlos Oliva and los Sobrinos del Juez and Angel Canete’s Son y Salsa DJ. The cost is $60 per person and includes cocktails, dinner-dance and bar.
The celebration will conclude at 3 p.m. on Sunday , when Archbishop Wenski will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at Immaculata-La Salle High School at 3601 S. Miami Ave. The Mass will be the followed by the dedication of the original La Salle building in honor of the late Msgr. Bryan Walsh, the priest whom the Pedro Pans consider their “foster father.” The building will be renamed the Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Humanities Pavillion.
The community is invited to all activities. For more information call Operation Pedro Pan at 305-554-7196.