Chairs Leticia Trauber, Sippi Khurana, Brigitte Bashar, Ileana Trevino
Margaret Alkek Williams, Barron Segar, Rose Cullen
Fayez Sarofim is a billionaire list regular.
Honorees Jim & Linda McIngvale with UNICEF's Barron Segar
Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, Susan Boggio
Neil & Maria Bush (standing), Buzz Aldrin, Joanne King Herring
Sara Beth & Pierce Bush
Brigitte & Bashar Kalai
Barron Segar, Susan Boggio, Mayor Sylvester Turner
Catherine Clarke Murphy, Weldon Martin
Nelson Bowman, UNICEF USA Managing Director, Southwest Region
Mariana Servitje, David
Gary & Beth Sova, Ann & Tod Holmes
Neil & Maria Bush
Anika Jackson, Malaika Mukoro, Kristen McQuillin and guest
Mayor Sylvester Turner
In a ballroom filled with beautiful people in stunning black-tie attire, it is easy to forget that across the world families live in abject poverty and children are often the most vulnerable victims of all forms of misfortune and cruelty. But amid the gowns and jewels on display in the ballroom of The Post Oak Hotel Friday night, UNICEF deftly kept the message at the forefront of the evening without tamping down the spirited mood of the 320 patrons.
The fifth annual UNICEF Gala Houston, sponsored by the Southwest Regional Office of UNICEF USA, was a night of both glamour and philanthropy, raising more than $900,000 for and greater awareness of UNICEF’s worldwide lifesaving work. In keeping with the altruistic spirit of the evening, UNICEF honored uber philanthropists/billionaires Susan and Fayez Sarofim with the Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award and bestowed the Global Community Hero Award on Linda and Jim McIngvale, the couple endlessly generous with the fortune they have made through Gallery Furniture.
Mayor Sylvester Turner added import to the evening with his praise for UNICEF and for the McIngvales for their selfless sheltering of families and children during Hurricane Harvey and for their on-going generosity in the Houston community.
As has been tradition since the founding of this UNICEF gala, a member of the late Audrey Hepburn‘s family has been on hand to remind of the importance of UNICEF’s work and of Hepburn’s commitment to the organization. On this night, her granddaughter, Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, represented the family and provided a touching introduction to a video highlighting the film star’s work with UNICEF. Hepburn was the first of the now long lineup of UNICEF ambassadors, Ferrer noted, and she herself is proud to carry on the family legacy.
The evening was chaired by an international coterie of community leaders: Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Leticia and Stephen Trauber and Ileana and Michael Treviño. Adding to the impact of the evening were honorary chairs Rose and Harry Cullen, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy, Penny and Paul Loyd, Margaret Alkek Williams and Randa and Charles Williams.
Who: UNICEF USA chief development officer and executive vice president Barron Segar, UNICEF regional director Nelson Bowman, regional board chair Susan Boggio, Buzz Aldrin, Maria and Neil Bush, Joanne King Herring, Sara Beth and Pierce Bush, Rachel and Jeff Bagwell, Karina and Carlos Barbieri, Mari and Bryan Glass, Lexi Sakowitz, Kimberly and Evan Scheele, Tatiana and Guillermo Sierra, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Melissa and Steve Gudovic, Pat Breen, Dee Osborne, Debbie and Rudy Festari, Ishwaria and Vivek Subbiah, emcee KHOU Channel ll’s Deborah Duncan, and Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black of presenting sponsor Tenenbaum Jewelers.