When Camac founder Kase Lawal started organizing the party celebrating his global energy company's 30th anniversary, he added a special thank you to the bash at the Hilton Americas-Houston. In addition to partying with Kool & the Gang, Lawal announced a $10 million matching grant in company shares from the Camac Foundation to his alma mater, Texas Southern University.
Now serving as chairman of the oil exploration and international trading firm, Lawal made the announcement after TSU president John M. Rudley spoke on the positive impact of the Lawal Center for Global Trade at the university. That entity was established with a $1 million grant from Camac in 2009.
"Our community involvement is about empowerment," Lawal said, adding that the matching grant would aid in "building a platform for would-be entrepreneurs and business owners to access knowledge, training and resources to become the next greatest business success story in the world."
For this generosity, Lawal received a standing ovation from the 400 cocktail-attired guests, many of whom were elected officials including Mayor Sylvester Turner; Congressman Al Green; State Rep. Rodney Ellis; State Rep. Carol Alvarado; City Council members Dwight Boykins, Jerry Davis and Larry Green; and former mayor Lee Brown. They were introduced by the evening's emcee Linda Lorelle.
The three-tiered entertainment began with cool jazz tunes from the Richard Brown Orchestra Trio during the cocktail hour, continued with Mary Griffin during dinner and reached a dancing frenzy after dinner with Kool & the Gang.
Key players in the evning included Camac president and CEO Kamoru Lawal (brother of Kase), Eileen Lawal (wife of Kase) and the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who delivered the invocation.
Guests included Isselle and T.J. Raguso, Merele Yarborough, John Camp and Jasmine Simone Rogers, Debbie and Rudy Festari, Lora and Dr. John Clemmons, Cheryl and Percy "King" Creuzot, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Karen and Roland Garcia and Winell and Doug Herron.