The classic decor of the Junior League Ballroom was awash with the bricolage that typifies the face of Houston for Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston luncheon.
Welcoming guests as they ambled from the courtyard indoors was the evocative timber of an Indian sitar, wooden flute and tabla (Indian drum). Amid the cortege of fine saris, power suits, dignitary uniforms and casuals were residents who found a safe haven in the Bayou City as recently as two months ago mixed in with social heavyweights well-known in philanthropic circles.
Afghan refugee Anosha Azeemi's account of exile reminded guests that in Houston tales of plight can have a happy ending.
Executive director Elliot Gershenson presented the Richard Steele Refugee Services Volunteer Award to Rev. Linda Shelton, who tirelessly made a routine of receiving refugees at the airport day and night, helping new Houstonians resettle and always being available to lend a helping hand. Baker Hughes senior vice president Alan Crain, who reminded the diverse audience that everyone's family has a refugee story, was honored with the For All Humanity Award for his volunteer work in education and international affairs.
Luncheon co-chairs Lily and Charles Foster and Diana and Chase Untermeyer with honorary chairs Susan Boggio and Tehmina Masud used the help of presenting sponsor Baker Hughes Foundation and new corporate benefactor TFI Resources to exceed the fundraising goal of $135,000, setting a record for this third annual event.
The humor of KHOU Channel 11's Lily Jang, who emceed the gathering, and Afghan refugee Anosha Azeemi's account of exile reminded guests that in Houston tales of plight have a happy ending.
Enjoying a colorful autumn lunch were Dr. Kelli Cohen and Martin Fein, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Rosemarie Johnson, E.W. Bill Wright, Gordon Quan, Sidney Faust, Elsie Eckert, Joy Kennedy, Barbara Van Postman, Kenny Friedman, Counsel General of Turkey Cemalettin Aydin and Jasmeeta Singh.