Gabriella Nené Casares is used to public speaking.
After all, she has served on the board of the Central Valley Women’s Conference and worked for 40 years at The Fresno Bee in various capacities that required reaching out to the public. Plus, she has served seven years of her 30-year involvement with Arte Américas as its president.
Casares, however, was at a near loss for words at the 20th annual Día de las Madres (Mother’s Day) Celebration and Champagne Brunch at Plaza Paz.
“I’ve been privileged to be a mother,” said Casares upon being recognized as Mother of the Year by the Latino cultural arts center on her 75th birthday. “Nothing compares to the joy of motherhood.”
Casares then teared up slightly as she mentioned her son, Brandon Booth, and her 4-year-old grandson, Ronan, who were among the 300 who enjoyed brunch and champagne underneath a giant tent.
“I consider raising my son as my greatest accomplishment,” said Casares, a native of .
“I love and admire his inquisitive mind and his sense of humor, as he has become a remarkable man. Perhaps most of all, I adore my 4-year-old grandson Ronan.”
Casares, who has also served on the Fresno County Grand Jury, praised motherhood.
“Mothers, in my opinion, are the backbone of our hearts,” said the single parent. “There is a Jewish proverb that says ‘God could not be everywhere, so he created a mother.’”
The award was part of the traditional brunch at Arte Américas.
The celebration, which drew more than 300, included a silent auction.