What: The fifth annual UNICEF Gala
Where: The Post Oak Hotel
The scoop: Beloved local philanthropists Susan and Fayez Sarofim and Linda and Jim McIngvale were honored for their charitable works at the annual UNICEF Gala. More than 320 guests attended the glamorous gala, which raised more than $900,000 and will support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world. The event, emceed by Deborah Duncan, celebrated UNICEF’s lifesaving work and honored the Sarofims with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award. Meanwhile, Linda and Jim McIngvale received the Global Community Hero Award.
Special guests included Mayor Sylvester Turner and Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn’s granddaughter and UNICEF advocate, both of whom spoke about their personal connection to UNICEF USA. Ferrer provided a touching introduction to a video highlighting her grandmother’s work with UNICEF. The gala tables featured large glass globe centerpieces (glowing in blue) surrounded by white roses as well as crystal candelabras with dangling white orchids. After a three-course meal and live auction, a vibrant performance by the 10-piece variety band Professor D took over the after party hosted by Houston's UNICEF 'NEXTGEN' supporters.
Gala chairs included Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Leticia and Stephen Trauber and Ileana and Michael Treviño. Honorary Chairs included Rosanette and Harry Cullen, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy, Penny and Paul B. Loyd Jr., Margaret Alkek Williams, and Randa and Charles Williams.
Live-action packages included tickets to Hamilton, a private suite at Rockets and Astros games, tickets to the Houston Symphony, a NYC trip experience with jewelry shopping spree, and even a 2018 Lexus NX 300.
Who: Margaret Alkek Williams, Buzz Aldrin, The Honorable Joanne King Herring, Rosanette Cullen, Maria and Neil Bush, Sara Beth and Pierce Bush, Jeff and Rachel Bagwell, Rudy and Debbie Festari, Paul-David Van Atta, Trish and Rock Morille, Anika Jackson and Chuck Redick, Alicia Smith, Tony Bradfield Kevin Black, Alex and Astley Blair, Bill Baldwin and Fady Armanious, Erik Monrreal, and Shannah Quinn.