In addition to fireworks , a five-tier cake and vast amounts of locally produced food , the festivities in Tecate , Mexico — where Deborah founded Rancho La Puerta in 1940 , and where she has spent much of her 100 years — included a mariachi band marching behind her , cheerfully performing “ Las Mañanitas ,” a traditional Mexican birthday song .
Addressing those who had gathered to celebrate her , Deborah said ,“ Thank you to everyone who made this possible . It ’ s a real work of magic . We ’ re in a magical city here in Tecate , and this is a magical day .”
Deborah ’ s involvement with ISPA goes back to its very beginnings . She delivered a keynote address at the very first
ISPA Conference in September of 1991 and was soon named Honorary ISPA Chairman for Life . She has continued to address attendees at ISPA Conferences in the more than 30 years since , often taking the stage to present the Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award , named in honor of her late son .
Everyone at ISPA missed Deborah at this year ’ s Conference , but we ’ re thrilled that she was able to spend her milestone birthday in the presence of those she most cherishes . Cheers to Deborah , and cheers to her decades of public service and her immeasurable contributions to spa and wellness ! n