With 90 languages spoken across the city, 92 consular offices in Houston and the international mix shopping in the Galleria on any given Saturday, Houston's dramatically diverse population comes as no surprise. So it is only fitting that among the many celebrations of the city's varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds, one should be devoted this week to a broad range of mothers.
The second annual International Mothers' Day Soirée took place Friday night at Neiman Marcus in the Galleria, where a sellout crowd of several hundred turned out to salute a dozen mothers representing that broad cross section of nationalities. Soirée founder and Lights, Camera Action media force Ruchi Mukherjee welcomed the diverse gathering along with event chairs Gabriela Dror and Simran Rihal. The evening benefited the Tahirih Justice Center, which supports immigrant women and girls who are exposed to violence against them.
Fox 26's morning anchor Rita Garcia introduced the honorees, who were presented plaques and flowers by special guests Jared Lang and this writer.
Applauded as they walked the runway were the honorees, many in national dress, Alex Blair, Chau Nguyen Todd, Dr. Huma Nawab Haider, Katie Walthall Mehnert, Mehrnaz Gill, Miriam Habib, Miya Shay, Rekha Muddaraj, Toni Tate, Ursaline Hamilton, Dr. Vanitha Pothuri and the showstopper Dominique Sachse, KPRC Channel 2 news anchor, wearing a custom sari that had guests cheering.
Paying tribute to the honored moms were Nick Florescu, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Robert Davenport, Sue Habib, Laura Max Nelson, Cindi Harwood Rose and Dr. Franklin Rose, Dr. Yasmine Haddad, Nidhika Mehta, Bain Pearson, Donatella Benckenstein, Alex Martinez, David Arpin, David Peck, Amir Taghi and Astley Blair.