Well-known as one of Houston’s most-decorated fundraisers of the social season, the Altus Foundation’s Annual Gala drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 1,300 to the Hilton Americas Hotel. The foundation received more than $1.5 million in pledges from partygoers, all of which will benefit the Houston community through free healthcare services, food, shelter, and resources for locals in need.
The alluring affair was punctuated by the presence of many prominent, dazzling celebrities, including talk-show host Jeannie Mai, comedian Wayne Brady, former Houston Texans offensive lineman Chester Pitts, and rappers Flo Rida, 50 Cent, and Trae the Truth.
A buzzy, glamorous cocktail hour preceded the lavish dinner. Guests made their rounds about the auction tables, drinks in hand, and gushed over the exclusive items up for grabs. Live auction items included exclusive getaways to the Monaco Grand Prix, Bali, the Napa Valley, and more.
Pitts opened the evening’s celebrations urging attendees to support philanthropic efforts in Houston, including the Altus Foundation. Following his energetic introduction, Mai and Brady took to the stage to hype up the crowd and encourage giving. Taseer Badar, CEO of ZT Corporate, the event’s premium sponsor, spoke on behalf of the investment firm. Badar and event co-chair Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked Houstonians to keep fallen Houston Police Sergeant Christopher Brewster and his family in their thoughts and prayers.
“We are one community and stand shoulder to shoulder in this time with the Brewster family and all our brave men and women in uniform,” said Badar.
Pitts, who has been involved with the foundation board for years, boasts of its wide reach in the Houston community. “We do our best to have a big impact in all aspects of our civilians’ lives,” he said. “We were there for Harvey, we make sure community members have the medical care they deserve. We do it all.”
An highlight of the evening was hearing the story of a special 11-year old girl, Jashley, whose battle with a rare form of cancer has been made much easier by the Altus Foundation. Jashley and her family were present for the evening’s festivities, and were invited up to the stage to receive a life-changing gift. The Altus Foundation gifted sweet Jashely with a dream trip to Disney World, a car to assist the family with transportation to and from medical appointments, as well as ongoing financial assistance to help with hefty medical expenses.
The evening continued with entertainment from Grammy-nominated artist Flo Rida, who gave the crowd a performance to rave about with his hit songs, “Good Feeling,” “My House,” “Low,” and more. A live set from famed DJ duo, Natalia & Esther, carried the party late into the night as guests danced away on the dance floor.
Spotted in the crowd: Dominique Sachse and Nick Florescu, Antonio Cromartie, Selvin Young, Carson Parke, Maurice Evans, Travis Johnson, Amir Windom, Gaetano Sciuto, Blaine Ochoa, and Miya Shay.