To serve and protect

Superheroes and celebs take a bite out of crime at record-setting gala

Superheroes and celebs take a bite out of crime at record-setting gala

12 Rania Mankarious, from left, Rita Garcia and Adrian Garcia at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Rania Mankarious, from left, Rita Garcia and Adrian Garcia. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
16 Rusty and Tissy Hardin at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Rusty and Tissy Hardin. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
4 Charles McClelland, left, and John Stossel at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Charles McClelland, left, and John Stossel. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
20 Toni and Bob Lawrence at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Toni and Bob Lawrence. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
14 Roseann Rogers at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Roseann Rogers. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
18 Carlos Barron and Shauna Dunlap at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Carlos Barron and Shauna Dunlap. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 Tracy and Laurie Krohn, from left, with Franco Vallobra at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Tracy and Laurie Krohn, from left, with Franco Valobra. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
13 Manson Johnson, from left, Rania Mankarious, Deborah Duncan and Chester Pitts at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Manson Johnson, from left, Rania Mankarious, Deborah Duncan and Chester Pitts. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
11 Miya Shay and Gene Wu at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Miya Shay and Gene Wu. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
10 Matt Burrus, from left, Ellen Cohen and Michael Pearce at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Matt Burrus, from left, Ellen Cohen and Michael Pearce. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 Chandra Davis and Mike Sullivan at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Chandra Davis and Mike Sullivan. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
7 Devon Anderson, left, and Jacqueline Baly at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Devon Anderson, left, and Jacqueline Baly. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 Fenner Weller, left, and John Stossel at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Fenner Weller, left, and John Stossel. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
3 Charles and Melissa Davis at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Charles and Melissa Davis. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 Brian Hall, left, and Chuck Beckman at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Brian Hall, left, and Chuck Beckman. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
1 Andy Kahn, from left, Michelle Heinz, Vicki Rizzo, Mauri Oliver, Jack Rizzo and Michael Heinz at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Andy Kahn, from left, Michelle Heinz, Vicki Rizzo, Mauri Oliver, Jack Rizzo and Michael Heinz. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
23 Waltrip High School Ram Band at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
Waltrip High School Ram Band. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
12 Rania Mankarious, from left, Rita Garcia and Adrian Garcia at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
16 Rusty and Tissy Hardin at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
4 Charles McClelland, left, and John Stossel at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
20 Toni and Bob Lawrence at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
14 Roseann Rogers at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
18 Carlos Barron and Shauna Dunlap at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
21 Tracy and Laurie Krohn, from left, with Franco Vallobra at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
13 Manson Johnson, from left, Rania Mankarious, Deborah Duncan and Chester Pitts at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
11 Miya Shay and Gene Wu at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
10 Matt Burrus, from left, Ellen Cohen and Michael Pearce at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
9 Chandra Davis and Mike Sullivan at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
7 Devon Anderson, left, and Jacqueline Baly at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
6 Fenner Weller, left, and John Stossel at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
3 Charles and Melissa Davis at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
2 Brian Hall, left, and Chuck Beckman at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
1 Andy Kahn, from left, Michelle Heinz, Vicki Rizzo, Mauri Oliver, Jack Rizzo and Michael Heinz at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014
23 Waltrip High School Ram Band at the Crime Stoppers Gala November 2014

While Houston gets a superhero thumbs up thanks to its economic standing as a national leader in job growth, there's a much darker alter ego that Crime Stoppers executive director Rania Mankarious shared with a packed crowd of 490 during the nonprofit's fundraising dinner Thursday at the Omni Hotel.

Houston is the country's hub for human trafficking. Houston tops the nation when it comes to crime. Houston has the highest rate of violent crimes than any other major Texas city. And, she points out, ignoring these stats only makes them worse.

Chaired by celebrity attorney Rusty Hardin and wife Tissy, the soirée that included an invocation by Rev. Manson Johnson and entertaining commentary by emcees Deborah Duncan and former Houston Texans guard Chester Pitts was attended by a ring of fighters for whom improving safety in the Bayou City has become a personal mission, among them Houston Police Department Chief Charles McClelland, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Lt. Chandra Davis and FBI agents Carlos Barron and Shauna Dunlap.

Following a brimful silent auction and VIP reception in which a select few rubbed elbows with consumer reporter Fox News' John Stossel, who flew in to participate as the keynote speaker, the Waltrip High School Ram Band turned up the volume with a sprightly rendition of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and the theme from Disney's The Incredibles — quite a compliment to the otherwise serious tenor of the evening.

If there's only one thing to learn from Stossel's libertarian views is that the private sector can make a positive contribution against unlawful activities, just as Crime Stoppers did when 7,398 anonymous tips resulted in the arrest of 601 felony suspects last year.

Warriors for law and order helping raise a record $390,000 for the organization were Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu, Michael Pearce, Matt Burrus, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, council member Ellen Cohen, Roseann Rogers, Toni and Bob Lawrence, Franco Valobra, Leisa Holland-Nelson and Laurie and Tracy Krohn.

Needless to say, no one felt the need to yell, "screw you Rusty."

ADVERTISEMENT