Several days before the actual Mothers Day, a coterie of Houston women from varied nationalities took bows at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown as stars of the third annual International Mother's Day Soirée. Not only did the 16 women represent a United Nations of cultures, but they also represented a cross-section of careers and roles.
The one role that the diverse group had in common was motherhood.
Founder and host of the event Ruchi Mukherjee, an Indian immigrant and society journalist (Lights, Camera, Action), recalled the familiar phrase, "To empower a woman is to empower a nation" in honoring the women of accomplishment. They ranged from a Stafford police officer to a television news anchor to community leaders.
While KPRC Channel 2 newsman Andy Cerota served as emcee presenting the honorees, it was Sudhoff's Neal Hamil who praised Mukherjee for her efforts saying, "This International Mothers' Day soiree is truly remarkable as it creates a strong sense of community. This event is unique as mothers from different religious and cultural backgrounds walk the ramp showcasing their individuality."
Walking the runway and receiving warm applause were Ann Marie Zarrizales, Melinda Spaulding, Connie Kwan-Wong, Debbie Festari, Shefali Tejani, Roseann Rogers, Donae Chramosta, Nancy Almodovar, Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee, Jerri Moore, Debbie Pakzaban, Kim Padgett, Runsi Sen, Stephanie Von Stein, Rania Mankarious and Maha Rasheed Khan.
A special treat for all involved was the mayoral proclamation declaring it "Lights, Camera, Action International Mothers Day" in Houston.
Applauding the celebrated moms were Michael Pearce and Matt Burrus, Vicki Rizzo, Judge Clarease Yates, Rob Todd, Sonia Soto, Girija and Anant Patel, Marty McVey, Toni and Howard Tate, Neelofur Ahamad and Farida Abjani.