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Legendary Houston philanthropists honored at record-setting UNICEF gala

Legendary Houston philanthropists honored at $1 million UNICEF gala

UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Susan Boggio and Sue Smith
Susan Boggio and Sue Smith.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Hallie Vanderhider, and Beth Wolff
Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Hallie Vanderhider, and Beth Wolff.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel
Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Sue Smith
Sue Smith.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Susan and Dan Boggio
Susan and Dan Boggio.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Brigitte Bashar Kalai
Brigitte and Bashar Kalai.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 The Garden State Guys
The Garden State Guys.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 dance floor
Hallie Vanderhider and friends on the dance floor.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Deborah Duncan Catherine Kaldis
Deborah Duncan and Catherine Kaldis.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Dr Sippi Khurana and Ajay Khurana
Dr. Sippi and Ajay Khurana.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Hallie Vanderhider
Hallie Vanderhider at the auction.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Alex Blair
Alex Blair.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Catherine Clarke Murphy
Catherine Clark Murphy and guest.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Kelly Wilson and guest
Kelly Wilson and guest.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 selfies
Selfie time.  Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Susan Boggio and Sue Smith
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Hallie Vanderhider, and Beth Wolff
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Sue Smith
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Susan and Dan Boggio
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Brigitte Bashar Kalai
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 The Garden State Guys
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 dance floor
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Deborah Duncan Catherine Kaldis
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Dr Sippi Khurana and Ajay Khurana
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Hallie Vanderhider
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Alex Blair
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Catherine Clarke Murphy
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 Kelly Wilson and guest
UNICEF Gala Houston 2019 selfies

What: The UNICEF Gala

Where: The Post Oak Hotel 

The scoop: Nearly 400 Houstonians packed The Post Oak Hotel as the Southwest Regional Office of UNICEF USA recently hosted the sixth annual UNICEF Gala Houston. The event, emceed by Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan, celebrated UNICEF’s lifesaving work and honored Susan and Dan Boggio with the Helenka Pantaleoni Humanitarian Award and Sue Smith and Lester Smith, posthumously, with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award.

The fab gala raise more than $1 million — a record-breaking amount which will support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world.

Over the course of the evening, guests enjoyed remarks from Mayor Sylvester Turner and UNICEF USA CEO and President Caryl M. Stern. As the granddaughter of Helenka Pantaleoni — the founding director of UNICEF USA — actor Téa Leoni sent a gift presentation to the Boggios to celebrate their commitment to UNICEF USA’s work over the years. The gala featured a vibrant performance by The Garden State Guys performing a special tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Young professionals UNICEF NextGen hosted a silent disco after party.

As part of their longstanding commitment to UNICEF, the Boggios launched The Susan and Dan Boggio Fund for UNICEF — made possible by their leadership gift — to address child protection, education, ending trafficking, violence against girls, the Rohingya refugee crisis, and expansion of UNICEF Kid Power in Houston. The Fund also includes a generous amount of unrestricted funding to offer UNICEF the flexibility that Susan and Dan value as essential in saving children’s lives.

Live auction packages included a week-long safari in Kenya, earrings from NINI Jewels and tickets to the Elton John Oscars Party. The evening featured a lively paddle raise for UNICEF Kid Power with a generous $100,000 match from The Alkek and Williams Foundation.

Who: Gala Chairs included Cheryl Byington, Mary Ann McKeithan, Beth Wolff, and Hallie Vanderhider, who also served as the Lead Benefactor of the event. Honorary Chairs included Shelly and Brian Hendry, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy, Limor and Stuart Smith, Margaret Alkek Williams, and Randa and Charles Williams. Anika Jackson and Catherine Clarke Murphy served as the NextGen Chairs.