News Anchor's Biggest Surprise

For once, Dave Ward is speechless: Veteran newsman's biggest surprise ever unveiled at gala

For once Dave Ward is speechless: Newsman's big gala surprise unveiled

Crime Stoppers Gala Dave Ward, Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious
Dave Ward, Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Chita Johnson, Gala Auction Chair Courtney Zubowski Haas
Chita Johnson, Gala Auction Chair Courtney Zubowski Haas. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Alan Pactor, Roz Pactor, Steve Tyrell
Alan Pactor, Roz Pactor, Steve Tyrell. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Henry Florsheim, Rebecca Campbell, Mayor Annise Parker, Doe Florsheim
Henry Florsheim, Rebecca Campbell, Mayor Annise Parker, Doe Florsheim. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Constable Alan Rosen, Diana Brackmann
Constable Alan Rosen, Diana Brackmann. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Adrian Garcia, Laurie and Tracy Krohn
Adrian Garcia, Laurie Krohn, Tracy Krohn. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Keynote Speaker Ted Koppel
Keynote Speaker Ted Koppel. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Ellen and Steve Robinson, Kenneth Lewis and Carla Diaz
Ellen Robinson, Steve Robinson, Kenneth Lewis, Carla Diaz. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Steve Mach, Laura Ward, Joella Mach, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious
Steve Mach, Laura Ward, Joella Mach, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala John and Wendy Granato
John Granato, Wendy Granato. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Leisa Holland Nelson, Mauri Oliver, Vicki Rizzo
Leisa Holland Nelson, Mauri Oliver, Vicki Rizzo. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Miya Shay and Gene Wu, Gina Gaston Ellie
Miya Shay, Gene Wu, Gina Gaston Ellie. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Oscar Martinez, Mike Wilson
Oscar Martinez, Mike Wilson. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers Gala Dave Ward, Laura Ward, Ted Koppel, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious
Crime Stoppers Gala Chita Johnson, Gala Auction Chair Courtney Zubowski Haas
Crime Stoppers Gala Alan Pactor, Roz Pactor, Steve Tyrell
Crime Stoppers Gala Henry Florsheim, Rebecca Campbell, Mayor Annise Parker, Doe Florsheim
Crime Stoppers Gala Constable Alan Rosen, Diana Brackmann
Crime Stoppers Gala Adrian Garcia, Laurie and Tracy Krohn
Crime Stoppers Gala Keynote Speaker Ted Koppel
Crime Stoppers Gala Ellen and Steve Robinson, Kenneth Lewis and Carla Diaz
Crime Stoppers Gala Steve Mach, Laura Ward, Joella Mach, Rania Mankarious, Ramy Mankarious
Crime Stoppers Gala John and Wendy Granato
Crime Stoppers Gala Leisa Holland Nelson, Mauri Oliver, Vicki Rizzo
Crime Stoppers Gala Miya Shay and Gene Wu, Gina Gaston Ellie
Crime Stoppers Gala Oscar Martinez, Mike Wilson

For once, ABC Channel 13 news anchor Dave Ward was speechless. When he recovered from the momentary awe over the announcement that the new Crime Stoppers of Houston Building would bear his name, he asked in near-disbelief, "My name's going to be on a building on Main Street in the city I love? I am overwhelmed."

As confetti streamers dropped from overhead, the veteran newsman received a standing ovation in the ballroom of the Omni Houston Hotel, where Crime Stoppers was holding its annual fundraising dinner. The event brought in $510,000, another step in the right direction toward completing the $7.5 million needed for the building. Five million is already in the bank.

The announcement followed a keynote address by another veteran newsman, Ted Koppel, and good wishes via video that included Barbara Bush and from the International Space Station astronaut Scott Kelly. On stage, former Gov. Mark White, Edna Meyer-Nelson and John Eddie Williams were among those singing Ward's praises.

Adding to the celebration was Steve Tyrell, who crooned "You've Got a Friend in Me" from the film Toy Story, in honor of Ward.

Joella and Steve Mach chaired the evening that saw 560 guests fill the ballroom. Since its 35 years in Houston, Crime Stoppers has solved more than 32,000 felonies and distributed more than $10 million in reward money.

Throughout the early years, Ward presented a re-enactment crime of the week on Channel 13 and reminded viewers to call 713-222-TIPS.

Joining in the celebration of Ward was his wife Laura, Crime Stoppers director Rania Mankarious, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, Channel 13 GM Henry Florsheim and wife Doe, Sheridan Williams, Chita Johnson, Gina Gaston, Courtney Zubowski Haas, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, and Melanie Lawson, who served as emcee.

The following day, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Crime Stoppers home with Ward among those doing the honors.

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