Shelby's Social Diary

Sexy beauty queens and a brainy former mayor help a newbie charity score an impressive windfall

Sexy beauty queens and a brainy former mayor help newbie charity score

250 Dr. Sippi Khurana, from left, David Peck and Perri Palermo at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Dr. Sippi Khurana, from left, David Peck and Perri Palermo. Photo courtesy of Quy Tran Photography
9444 Dr. Michael Chang, from left, Wayne Nguyen, Chris Cardenas and Chase Oelkers at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Dr. Michael Chang, from left, Wayne Nguyen, Chris Cardenas and Chase Oelkers. Photo courtesy of Vicky Pink Photography
9003 Jason Fuller, from left, Miya Shay and Corbett Daniel Parker at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Jason Fuller, from left, Miya Shay and Corbett Daniel Parker. Photo courtesy of Vicky Pink Photography
190 Bella Chramosta, from left, Ava Nguyen and Siri Jackson at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Bella Chramosta, from left, Ava Nguyen and Siri Jackson. Photo courtesy of Quy Tran Photography
9002 Dr. Sippi Khurana, from left, Tammy Tran Nguyen Rita Garcia and Perri Palermo at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Dr. Sippi Khurana, from left, Tammy Tran Nguyen Rita Garcia and Perri Palermo. Photo courtesy of Vicky Pink Photography
223 Cindy Cheng modeling David Peck and Zadok Jewelers at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Cindy Cheng modeling David Peck and Zadok Jewelers. Photo courtesy of Quy Tran Photography
0266 Ajay Khurana, from left, Grant Manier and Sippi Khurana at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Ajay Khurana, from left, artist Grant Manier and Dr. Sippi Khurana. Photo courtesy of Vicky Pink Photography
310 Cindi Rose, from left, Connie Kwan-Wang and Hiru Mac at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Cindi Rose, from left, Connie Kwan-Wang and Hiru Mac. Photo courtesy of Vicky Pink Photography
120 Bill White at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
Former Mayor Bill White. Photo courtesy of Quy Tran Photography
250 Dr. Sippi Khurana, from left, David Peck and Perri Palermo at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
9444 Dr. Michael Chang, from left, Wayne Nguyen, Chris Cardenas and Chase Oelkers at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
9003 Jason Fuller, from left, Miya Shay and Corbett Daniel Parker at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
190 Bella Chramosta, from left, Ava Nguyen and Siri Jackson at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
9002 Dr. Sippi Khurana, from left, Tammy Tran Nguyen Rita Garcia and Perri Palermo at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
223 Cindy Cheng modeling David Peck and Zadok Jewelers at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
0266 Ajay Khurana, from left, Grant Manier and Sippi Khurana at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
310 Cindi Rose, from left, Connie Kwan-Wang and Hiru Mac at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015
120 Bill White at the KNOWAutism Gala February 2015

Raising a quarter of a million dollars with a first-time event is no small feat, but successful businesswoman Tammy Tran Nguyen did just that with KnowAutism's "Deep in the Heart of Houston" gala.

Gala co-chairs Dr. Sippi Khurana and Perri Palermo, of course, contributed to the evening's success but Nguyen, KnowAustim founder, has been the indomitable force behind the non-profit since last April when it was organized to aid families affected by autism.

 "It was only possible with help from big hearted Houstonians, who gave us a chance even though we are newbies." 

Of the gala's success which surpassed the initial goal, Nguyen demures, "It was only possible with help from big hearted Houstonians, who gave us a chance even though we are newbies." The proceeds will be used to subsidize the cost of testing for children with autism.

The gala evening at the Royal Sonesta included a presentation of fashions by David Peck, accessorized with breath-taking baubles from Zadok Jewelers, and a keynote address by former mayor Bill White. In addition, Palermo poignantly brought home the importance of the evening, telling the gathering of  400 her story of struggles in getting her young son diagnosed and getting help for him.

The party crowd included Miss Texas 2014 Rachel White and Miss Vietnamese Universe 2003 Cindy Cheng, Andrea White, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Helene and Dror Zadok,  David Peck, Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Al Kashani, Clayton and Kendal Rotan, Mandy Kao, Katherine Le, Viet Hoang, Betty and Dr. Kim Gee, City Councilman Danny Nguyen and Grace Jacobson.