Chuck Norris kick-starts stellar support for Houston's karate kids
What: Kickstart Kids 25th anniversary Gala
Where: Hilton Americas – Houston
The scoop: More than 500 supporters gathered for the 2018 Kickstart Kids Gala KIDS Gala, now in its 25th year. The organization is endorsed by teachers, parents, and school officials as positively impacting the lives of more than 90,000 students by teaching character through the discipline of karate.
The evening honored Greg and Gail Garland with the Gena and Chuck Norris Character Award. The Founders Vision Award was given to Elizabeth and John Gibson. Five instructors were honored for their outstanding performances in their regions instructing the kids. Chairmen Keith and Alice Mosing, and Kickstart Kids founders Gena and Chuck Norris and Marshall Bush and Nick Rossi were thrilled with the enormous success of the evening with a new record of over $1,000,000 raised. The evening was led by emcee Linda Lorelle, whose introduction of Gena and Chuck Norris congratulating them on 25 years led to a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd. A demonstration by more than 50 students of karate moves choreographed to high energy music brought the crowd to another standing ovation. Keeping the beat going was country singer Jack Ingram —who recently won the Grammy in the category of Best Country Song for his collaboration with long-time friend Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall writing “Tin Man.”
Norris said, “We continue to have increased demand for the Kickstart Kids program because the benefits of the program is significant on school campuses. Students who enroll in the Kickstart Kids program are more likely to exhibit the personal character traits of responsibility, self-discipline and diligence, and the interpersonal character traits of kindness, respect, honesty, tolerance, and empathy.” The Kickstart Kids curriculum has been recognized by both Crime Stoppers of Houston and the North Texas Crime Commission as contributing to safer schools and communities. This year, Kickstart Kids will reach more than 9,000 students in more than 56 schools.
Who: Linda and Willie Chiang, Jim McIngvale, Sherry and Bill Berry, Michelle and Bill Hickl, Brenda Love and Ed Jones, Marilyn and Rex King, Mike King and Laura True, Lisa and Kevin Matthews, Judge Michael McSpadden, Hedda Dowd, Chris and Mike Forshey, Kim and Eric Self,and Maria and Neil Bush.