In an emotional ribbon cutting ceremony, Latin music icon Marc Anthony and his business partner, entrepreneur and CEO of Cardenas Marketing Network Henry Cardenas, kicked off the grand opening of a new Children of Christ orphanage in the city of La Romana, Dominican Republic.
"This morning we are changing lives and building dreams with the opening of our first orphanage in the Dominican Republic. The first of many with Maestro Cares," said Anthony in a Twitter message.
Surrounded by Dominican city officials and dignitaries, Anthony’s labor of love also counted with the support of fellow celebrities like bachata singer Romeo Santos, merengue singer Rubby Perez and Colombian actor Manolo Cardona.
The Maestro Cares foundation established in 2012 is a non-profit organization run by Anthony and Cardenas, which raised funds to help expand and build a new residence hall, new classrooms, a baseball field and new recreation areas for the orphanage that currently houses over 100 orphaned boys and girls.
“Today is an unforgettable day for me, without doubt a special day,” Anthony said. “Two years ago I spent Christmas with the children and that day changed my life. I knew I had to do something.”
A land donation by a Dominican-based industrial sugar company set in motion construction on the 10,000-square-foot facility which began in late in 2012. According to Cardenas, the expansion of the Children of Christ orphanage represents the beginning of an exciting endeavor for Maestro Cares.
“Our mission is to help Latin American children by creating healthy and safe environments for them, but a major priority is also supporting their academic needs,” Cardenas said. “Education is key because it will bring the children closer to their dreams. They are our future leaders.”
Founded in 1996, the first Children of Christ orphanage opened its door to children who were victims of abuse or whose parents were unable to care for them.