Showing “love and tenderness” for UNICEF, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Michael Bolton performed at the organization’s fourth annual Audrey Hepburn Society Ball. The singer hit the ballroom stage at downtown’s Marriott Marquis hotel, singing a trio of songs including renditions of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”
Bolton, joined onstage by singer and native New Yorker Kelly Levesque, ended the set with a heartfelt version of “The Prayer," a song made popular by duet Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, to the delight of the 450 guests in attendance.
Mayor Sylvester Turner welcomed guests, and actress and UNICEF Ambassador Angie Harmon was presented with the Spirit of Compassion Award by her three daughters Emery Hope Sehorn, Finley Faith Sehorn, and Avery Grace Sehorn. Harmon, a Dallas native, has served as a spokesperson for UNICEF USA’s End Trafficking Initiative since 2013.
“UNICEF succeeds because all nations, all political affiliations, all regions, all countries, we want children to live full and healthy lives. I’m honored to think of the words of Audrey Hepburn who said, 'As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands – one that is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others,' ” Harmon told the crowd.
Harmon shared the honoree spotlight with Houstonians Rose and Harry Cullen, who received the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award for their contributions to the causes of children, health, and education. Although Harry was unable to attend the event, Rose accepted the award on the couple’s behalf.
The evening concluded with the lively NextGen after-party, pumped up by current tunes spun by DJ Indo.
Proceeds from live auction items, including a pair of Nini Jewels “Royale Collection” earrings weighing 47 carats from Saks Fifth Avenue and an intimate concert by Grammy Award winner Ana María Martínez, contributed to the more than $910,000 raised, which will support UNICEF’s work to fight for the basic rights of every child.
The 2017 gala was chaired by Sofia Adrogué and Sten Gustafson, Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa and Victor Costa, Amy and Rob Pierce, and Princess Tatiana Galitzine and Guillermo Sierra. Nina and Karun Magon served as NextGen after-party chairs.
Enjoying the evening were Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan, who served as emcee, Princess Maria-Anna Galitzine and Prince Piotr Galitzine, Danielle and Meredith Cullen, Joanne King Herring, Dr. Sippi Kurana and Ajay Khurana, Margaret Alkek Williams, Rania Mankarious, Maryam Afshari Khreibani and James Khreibani, Ruchi Mukerjee, Alicia Maguire Smith and her son Lance Smith, and Ericka Bagwell.