Vote now in the IW Marks Jewelers Love Mom Charity Challenge- Promoted -

Mother’s Day is May 8, and to celebrate everyone’s ultimate cheerleader, IW Marks Jewelers owners Joanna and Brad Marks are hosting the Love Mom Charity Challenge. Marks is teaming up with current and former Houston Texan members who are honoring the special women in their lives in a two-week contest that exemplifies generous giving — something mom would certainly be proud of. The charity that receives the most votes between April 26 and May 8 receives a $2,500 donation from IW Marks Jewelers. Vote daily.

The votes are in. See who won!
Brian Cushing Foundation

Megan Cushing knows a thing or two about the balancing act called motherhood. In addition to being active in her two kids’ lives and writing a fitness blog, the busy mom is very involved in her husband’s charity organization, the Brian Cushing Foundation, which serves and honors the men and women who protect the United States by providing resources and experiences to Houston-area veterans and their families.

Together, the Cushings hosted Operation Holiday Hope, a community outreach program of the foundation. Other initiatives Megan and Brian are working on include Cushing’s Corner, which will provide access to iPads, computers, games and other mobile electronic devices for military patients and their families to use while at the hospital, and a camp for veterans and their families to attend together.


Taste of the NFL

Former Houston Texan Chester Pitts can easily sum up his wife, LaToya Pitts, in one word: amazing. Her dedication to their family and the Chester Pitts Charitable Foundation, an organization Chester and LaToya created together that evokes artistic interest in children, are just two reasons why Chester is amazed by his wife.

“LaToya is the best mom,” Chester says. “She starts her day being a mom. I have met very few people who consistently do what they say they are going to do, and LaToya always come through. She always finds a way to be an amazing person to everyone she meets.”

In addition to their foundation, the Pitts are also involved in Taste of the NFL, an organization that raises money in support of food banks throughout the United States.

Recreation and Wellness Division

Devi and Duane Brown are one of Houston’s power couples, using their talent and celebrity for good in the city. Devi is a veteran radio and television host (93.7 The Beat, MTV’s Hip Hop POV, SiriusXM’s Sway in the Morning Show) with a reputation for connecting with artists in a meaningful way. Duane Brown is the longest tenured member of the Houston Texans and has earned multiple All Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

Together, the duo supports causes close to their hearts, including the Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s Recreation and Wellness Division, which offers programs designed to promote a healthy lifestyle for all ages and abilities. Duane has sponsored the department through a team ticketing program called TACT since 2009, making a difference for those who are looking to be a true part of a team.

Vince Wilfork Foundation

For Houston Texan Vince Wilfork, his wife Bianca, and their three children, the kitchen is the very heartbeat of their family. It’s an energetic space filled with laughter and the fun of cooking together. In fact, the Wilforks enjoy cooking so much they have even created a steak rub and barbecue sauce called U Wil-Fork It Up.

There’s never a dull moment, and it’s always exciting at the Wilfork home, but Bianca keeps it all running smoothly, because well, she’s a mom. That’s what they do.

Another of the family’s passions is the Vince Wilfork Foundation, an organization Vince created in honor of his parents. The foundation supports diabetes research and educational activities, while also lending aid to all nonprofit organizations that serve or advocate for disadvantaged children.



Chris Myers Dreambuilders Foundation

Jenny Myers is the ultimate mom-on-the-go, effortlessly taking care of four young children and still finding time to work with the Chris Myers Foundation, an organization created by her husband. Jenny and Chris have a very personal connection to the foundation that supports child health initiatives in South Texas, and partners with Operation Smile to provide free reconstructive surgery and medical care to children with facial deformities.

It’s a mission close to their hearts. In 2013, their son Keane was born with a cleft palate, a condition that affects one in 700 births. Cleft is not just a cosmetic condition, as it can also cause ear infections and even heart problems. Since birth, Keane has undergone several surgeries and will undergo more throughout the coming years to help the condition.

Project 88

Whether on the football field or off, Garrett Graham and his wife, Ericka Graham, have made a difference in Houston. For six seasons, Garrett held the tight end position for the Houston Texans and, beyond the football field, the dynamic duo created Project 88, an organization that encourages a “college-going culture” and connects students in low-income, high-need communities with information and opportunity, making college a reality.

Ericka calls her mother Debbie Engen-Wierwill, a “fearless doer, with a chipper disposition,” but it’s her inspiring take on life that really resonates with Ericka, Garrett, and the rest of the Project 88 team.

“She’s life more than anyone I know, and she genuinely loves everyone! I am inspired by my mom every day,” Ericka says.